Saturday, March 7, 2009

Caught To?

I've written about the follies of phonics here before, but this example of phonics phailing really caught me by surprise today:

"Caught" to? CAUGHT TO? I suppose I should be happy this person spelled caught correctly, as it's a word that, well, catches a lot of people. But I find it hard to believe that anyone can "caught to" anything without making a funny face when they do it.

"Got to," of course, is the correct phrase here. I don't think I can chalk this up as a spelling error, because I can't count the number of times I've heard people say "caught to" when they mean "got to," or "ought to." And as monkey speaks, monkey spells.

This phonetic spelling is akin to one of my pet peeves -- and as a Grammar Nazi, I have plenty of pet peeves: "could of," instead of "could have," or "could've." Of course, the contraction here is the problem Contractions make it easier to speak, but as people speak more than they see such common phrases in print, what they say is what they write. And it's wrong.

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