Today's proofreading hint:
Sometimes it sounds like we say, "I could of fixed it, but I didn't."
That's what it sounds like.
But that's not what we say.
We say, "I could've fixed it, but I didn't."
What we mean, of course, is: "I could have fixed it, but I didn't."
Wrong: "Could OF"
Correct: "Could HAVE"
When we talk, we talk fast, dude. It sounds like we say "could of." That's two days in a row we have used the word dude in this blog. What is happening to us, dude?
When you're done with your paper, you might use the "find" feature on your word processing program to search for instances of "could of" in your paper. Also search for "would of" and "should of." If you find any, they're wrong. You can change them. If you don't catch them, your paper might come back with red circles around those words, and you will think, "Damn! I should of proofread this!"