“I’d rather be pissed off, then pissed on.”

Grammar 911

The title of this Blog post was taken right off someone’s facebook post and got me thinking on grammar in the age of 140 or less character messages. Living in the faced paced texting, tweeting, and facebooking world there is the inevitable #textingdisaster (a great new hashtag and segment on Jimmy Fallon).  That being said there are those acceptable occasional spelling errors and those unacceptable grammatical errors that quickly change the meaning of your message. “I’d rather be pissed off, then pissed on” is an example of an unacceptable error.

For those of you working on these words with your students I think you can appreciate how some of these  than vs then errors occur.  So do these errors continue throughout one’s lifetime or are they just caused by poor proofreading or that damn auto-correct?  

Let’s take some time to review how Dictionary.com defines these words.



1.(used, as after comparative adjectives and adverbs, to introduce the second member of an unequal comparison):She’s taller than I am.
2.(used after some adverbs and adjectives expressing choiceor diversity, such as other, otherwise, else, anywhere,  or different,  to introduce an alternative or denote a differencein kind, place, style, identity, etc.): I had no choice other than that. You won’t find such freedom anywhere else than in this country.
3.(used to introduce the rejected choice in expressions ofpreference): I’d rather walk than drive there.
4.except; other than: We had no choice than to return home.
5.when: We had barely arrived than we had to leave again.


1.at that time: Prices were lower then.
2.immediately or soon afterward: The rain stopped and then started again.
3.next in order of time: We ate, then we started home.
4.at the same time: At first the water seemed blue, then gray.
5.next in order of place: Standing beside Charlie is my uncle, then my cousin, then my brother.

If anything “I’d rather be pissed off, then pissed on.” could be the perfect teaching tool to help those people confused use the correct word every time! They might start getting that correct and then give you a sentence like this one.“The dog the girl the boy knew saw ran away.”  This technically is a grammatically correct sentence but hurts your head.

Just be sure to take the extra 3 seconds to proof read your posts before posting people! If you don’t,  you could end up being a #textingdisaster  superstar.