5 Grammatically Questionable Tattoos

Ever make an embarrassing grammatical mistake that other people judged you for? Of course you have; we’ve all made grammatical errors at some point. Now, imagine being stuck with one of those mistakes for the rest of your life. Believe it or not, people get misspelled or grammatically incorrect tattoos more often than you could imagine. How hard is it to do a quick Google search before permanently writing your biggest mistake ever? (Pretty difficult, apparently.)

Take heed of the following embarrassingly incorrect tattoos, and save a friend from eternal shame.

Some Mistakes Are Just “to” Big

The confusion between “too” and “to” has, not surprisingly, been permanently expressed on the bodies of more people than you would expect. It’s essential to remember that “too” means to bring something to a higher degree, while “to” can be used for anything from expressing physical motion to expressing purpose or intention. Avoid the embarrassment of confusing the two similar words; your body deserves better.

Make Better Decisions “Then” Your Friends

Here are two more words that are often confused — “then” and “than.” This gripe is just as unforgiving as the previous one because one word refers to a sequential passage of time, while the other is used to compare subjects. Your “Better Then You” tattoo will serve as built-in irony for all those that see it, so be sure you understand the distinction between the two before branding your body.

“Your” Never Going to Forgive Yourself 

Perhaps one of the most prolific and annoying grammar mistakes known to man  — confusing “your” and “you’re” — makes its way onto the bodies of grammatically challenged people at an alarming rate. If you can’t see the irony in getting a “Your Special” tattoo, perhaps it’s time to read up on possessive mistakes you’ve been making all your life.

“You’re” is the contraction form of “you are,” which should have been used in the previous anecdote. “Your” is a possessive adjective that should be used to assign possession to someone. Knowing the difference between these two common words is essential for avoiding embarrassment.

Your Tattoo and “It’s” Message Speak Volumes

Like “your” and “you’re,” it seems many people are unaware of the difference between “its” and “it’s.” However, the apostrophe has a purpose and isn’t just there for its own sake — “it’s” is always the contraction form of “it is” or “it has.”

“Its” is a possessive determiner, and can be used in the first or second-person. The easiest way to remember which form to use is by knowing that “it’s” has an apostrophe to represent the letter that was removed from its two component words.

Terrible Tattoos Won’t Do You “No” Good

Double negatives are a sometimes overlooked area of grammar, as is evident in the number of tattoos that display them. Your “Don’t Never Give Up” tattoo has a few flaws in its message, which actually contradict your intentions. “Don’t” is the contraction form of “do not,” which “never” then cancels out, leaving your tattoo urging yourself and all those that see it to, indeed, give up. Beware of similar double negatives when choosing an inspiring phrase for your next tattoo, and make sure that you’re not contradicting your own intentions.

As these examples make clear, grammar errors are not exclusive to the digital and print spaces, but are often permanently etched onto human bodies. It’s essential to know you’re grammatically sound in your intentions before attempting to tattoo any inspirational quote on your body.

What’s the funniest grammar mistake that you’ve seen etched on another person’s body?


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