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Originally posted by kalunom
Their - plural possessive, They're - contraction for "they are" There - everything else.
Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
I find it disturbing that so many Grammar Nazis don't know that different people remember, recall and process information in different ways.
Many people's memories associate the spelling of a word with the sound of the word which they are thinking, hence why the spelling mistake of then/than occurs frequently, due to the fact that it's a homophone to a lot of people.
Mistakenly using words which are homophones is not an indication that the writer does not know the correct usage of the words. I know full well the difference between their/there, no/know, to/too, etc., but these mistakes occasionally creep into my writing, especially if I am distracted.
Besides, why does it really matter, as long as the message is clear ? The purpose of language is to communicate information between one person and another/others. If that information is mutually understandable, then I don't see what the fuss is about, other than intellectual captiousness.
If someone writes ''I like coffee more then I like tea'' or ''I went to a party than I went home'', then it doesn't exactly take an undue amount of effort to extract the correct meaning from those statements, now does it ?