I had to laugh a couple weeks ago when a friend posted something on her Facebook page about knowing the difference between WOMAN and WOMEN. I was in the middle of grading the final papers for my first 8 week comp class and had a student write “A WOMEN” at least FIVE times! I can forgive one mistaken WOMEN, but not five in the same paper.
Of course, you all know that WOMEN is plural and so you can never put A in front of it! Right?! A women? It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s like saying A children. A geese, A pick a plural, irregular noun.
What strikes me most about this common mistake my students make is that I NEVER see the same thing happen with MAN and MEN. Everyone knows
MAN = ONE and
MEN = TWO or MORE.
woMAN and woMEN are just the same. Easy, peasy right?
One of my favorite movies of all times is So I Married An Axe Murderer. Have you seen it? Mike Myers plays a funny guy called Charlie and in the movie he performs a beat poem about women. Anyway, if after reading the above you still have a hard time with this one, the clip of Mike Myers performing this poem might help you remember. 🙂 (The movie is rated PG-13…you might want to watch without little ears around).
Since my Master’s degree focused on sociolinguistics and sexist language, I wonder what this mistake means. It must mean something. Do you have any ideas?
And that’s the 5 Minute Grammar Lesson! Do you have a topic you’d like me to cover? Please share! 🙂