To Be or Not Too Much

by Cherie Tucker

June 2015

There’s an epidemic of misspelling afoot. It is showing up mostly on Facebook. People from all over the country have shown symptoms of not being able to handle to vs. two vs. too. Let us examine them one at a time.

1. To has two functions: It goes with the infinitive form of all verbs:

-- to do,

-- to spell,

-- to write

It also is a preposition, those words that show the relationship between a noun or pronoun and some other word in a sentence:

-- Give this to Bob.

-- You talkin’ to me?

-- Toss it to third!

2. The next one is the number 2 spelled out: 1, 2, 3 = one, two, three. It contains the letter w.

3. The third one is the one most people miss. It has two o’s and means in addition or also.

-- Whoa, that’s too much!

-- I want to go too.

-- He is too funny.

Please give a quick proofread of these before you press send. It’s not hard to do; it takes just a second or two; and the consequences of not doing it are too awful to ignore.

Cherie Tucker, owner of GrammarWorks, has taught writing basics to professionals since 1987, presenting at the PNWA conference.  She currently teaches Practical Grammar for Editors at the University of Washington’s Editing Certification program and edits as well.

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