Couple/couple of

Today’s entry is about the difference between speaking and writing.

Technically, it’s only correct to say couple of and not couple when you write or speak about a couple of things. But when we speak, we often say things like “I saw a couple people I knew from class today.” Or “I think a couple teaspoons will do it.” That’s not accurate, but it’s become acceptable colloquially.

When writing, however, it’s important to use the phrase couple of… when referring to two items. (Of course, when we talk about two people who are in a relationship, we simply call them a couple. That’s not what we’re talking about here.)

So when using the word couple, and describing the couple, we use of with it. Trust me, it sticks out if you don’t!