What are your grammar pet peeves? My biggest one to date is the inappropriate use of the word “myself” by countless people who should know better. I’ve heard educators, writers, public speakers, politicians, radio celebrities, pastors, and every other walk of life use the word “myself” when they should use “me” or “I” in its place.
Another grammar pet peeve I have is the inappropriate use of the word “can” in place of the word “may.” When I taught school, I would bust my students on this all the time. They would approach me and ask “Can I go to the bathroom?” My response was always the same: “I don’t know, can you?” Can asks “do I have the ability” and may asks “do I have permission?” [Now that I’ve spouted off both of these, you’ll catch me doing one or the other and there I’ll be with egg on my face. Just for the record, if you do catch me implementing either of this grammar mistakes, please call me out.]
When you recognize the word “may” relates to permission verses ability, some scriptures jump off of the page as you read them. Ephesians 1:17-19 says “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Paul asks the Father for permission rather than ability. We were all created with the ability to have wisdom and revelation to know God. We were created with the ability to know Him.
We will not gain that understanding by accident or without assistance. We need the Spirit’s help. When we ask permission from the Holy Spirit to know the Lord more, He opens our hearts, our minds, and our spirits to know Him. That’s a beautiful thing.
No longer do we have to sit by and look at the great men and women of the faith, like Billy Graham and Mother Theresa, and wish we could have what they have. We can, if we’re willing to seek it. Are you willing?