Basic Rules of English Spelling and Grammar

How the hippopotamus are you?


1. Correct speling is a Must.

2. “Just between you and I” is a Mustn’t. It’s as much of a Mustn’t as “They telephoned she.”

3. Be sure to never split an infinitive.

4. Don’t dangle with participles: “Running for the bus, a taxi hit my uncle.”

5. The difference between “teach” and “learn” should learn you to pay attention. Teachers don’t have to pay attention, so they don’t learn; they just teach.

6. When studying grammar, a spiral notebook of well-lined pages are useful. (This shows that subjects and verbs are enemies.)

7. Don’t never use no double negative. Triple negative are even worst.

8. Always make a pronoun agree with their referent.

9. Beware of the “them-those” trap. For instance, don’t write, “Them apples are rotten” if they are not.

10. Many people love to use commas, which are not necessary. For instance, “She ate, the fool” is a comment. “She ate the fool” is correct, if she is a cannibal.

11. One of the trickiest points in punctuation is to use apostrophe’s correctly. They are as sensitive as measle’s.

12. Never use “real” when you mean “very.” Therefore: “She is real stupid” shows that you are very stupid. (This point is real important.)

13. Adjectives are not adverbs. Write careful. (I know that’s hardly.)

14. Question marks can be dynamite. Use them carefully. “You sure are pretty?” means you are not sure I am pretty. That is an insult.

15. Many a student is undone by “who” and “whom.”
   a. “’Whom are you?’ she asked, for she had gone to night school.”
   b. If you write “Who’s hand is stroking my thigh?” you’ll never know who’s pulling whose leg. Such information can be valuable.

16. Avoid the excessive use of exclamation points!!!! It is silly to write, “Yesterday, I woke up!!!” because that suggests that today you did not, which is probably true.

17. When you want to say something that indicates anyone, or all of us, the pronoun “one” is better than “he” or “she.” “One never knows, do one?”

18. Observe the difference between “don’t” and “doesn’t.” It’s shocking to hear so many high school graduates say “He don’t care.” What they mean, of course, is “I don’t care.” Their grades proved it.

19. Never write, “heighth” or “weighth.” They just are not righth.

20. Avoid confusion. “How the hippopotamus are you?”

21. “Irregardless” is not in the dictionary. “Hopefully” is – and I hope to God you never use it.

22. Don’t use “neither” when you mean “either.” Either use “neither” correctly or don’t use it at all. And don’t use “either” if you mean “ether” neither.

23. Guard against absurd and unnecessary repetitions. This here rule is especially important for new beginners.

24. A real booby trap to avoid is “when” – especially when a sentence like “I do not deny I wasn’t afraid” occurs when you mean “I won’t deny I was afraid.” Most writers are, so they master syntax, which is the only tax that doesn’t cost money.

25. Don’t forget the crucial difference between “lie” and “lay.”
   a. the former takes no object (“I lie in bed”) but the latter must (“Lay that pistol down, mother”);
   b. “To lie” means to express something not true: “to lay” means expressing something more urgent.

Got it? Now, memorize these laws, plus one more: Be sure to reread anything you write to make sure you don’t accidentally any words out.


QuotaBills
Speech is the small change of silence. - George Meredith

The eyes have one language everywhere. - George Herbert

I am disappointment in you're grammar. - Unknown

A proverb is to speech what salt is to food. - Arabic Proverb

Discretion in speech is more than eloquence. - Sir Francis Bacon

Music is well said to be the speech of angels. - Thomas Carlyle

Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts. - Charles de Talleyrand

I have often regretted my speech, never my silence. - Xenocrates

Life is a foreign language; all men mispronounce it. - Christopher Morley

Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war. - Lindsey Graham

Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides. - Rita Mae Brown

The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech. - Clifton Fadiman

All poetry is a reproduction of the tones of actual speech. - Robert Frost

You don't have good grammar when you type with your fists. - C.F. Payne

We need a president who's fluent in at least one language. - Buck Henry

England and America are two countries separated by a common language. - George Bernard Shaw

Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power. - Joan Didion

Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing. - John Erskine

A bore is one who has the power of speech but not the capacity for conversation. - Benjamin Desraeli

I personally think we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain. - Jane Wagner

The language of the law must not be foreign to the ears of those who are to obey it. - Learned hand

People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid. - Soren Kierkegaard

Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree. - Ezra Pound

Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language. - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous. - Ingrid Bergman

I never made a mistake in grammar but once in my life, and as soon as I done it. I seen it. - Carl Sandburg

A person's name is, to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language. - Dale Carnegie

Language is our meeting place, the sea we live in…it is the common ground of our humanity. - Toby Wolfe

Grammar, which knows how to lord it over kings, and with high hands makes them obey its laws. - Moliere

It's a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water. - Franklin P. Jones

German is the most extravagantly ugly language - it sounds like someone using a sick bag on a 747. - Willy Rushton

Violence of language leads to violence of action. Angry men seldom fight if their tongues do not lead the fray. - Charles V Roman

Already, companies that speak in the language of the pitch, the dog-and-pony show, are no longer speaking to anyone. - Unknown

The longest word in the English language is the one following the phrase, "And now a word from our sponsor." - Hal Eaton

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are,
"I'm from the government and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence? - George Carlin

Heard about the young deaf boy who used sign language?
One day he told his mother a dirty joke and she washed his hands out with soap. - Red Skelton

I remain convinced that obstinate addiction to ordinary language in our private thoughts is one of the main obstacles to progress in philosophy. - Bertrand Russell

No matter how bad things are, they can always be worse. So what if my stroke left me with a speech impediment? Moses had one, and he did all right. - Kirk Douglas

Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something entirely different. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


see also   Language  Section
Books Never Written
Commas Save Lives
Cyberbulbs
Does A Double Positive Equal A Negative?
Double Negative Education
First Impressions
Fluent Sarcasm
I Like Cooking
Little Johnny’s Beautiful Examples
One Thousand Words
Practice Safe Text
Punctuation Matters

 

Look Both Ways

No-iPhone Kids

Dog Haircut

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Donkey Refill

Self Portrait for Squirrels

Coin Stacking

Hooking Penalty

Zebra Bus Stop

Best Friend Theft

Chewie, We're Home

Police Rides

Bird Smoker

Hot Mexican Deals

Coffin Escape

African Airlines

Who Let The Dogs Out?

Autographed Copy

Fresh Air Computing

Porpoise Pilots
Full list of creditsFacebookTwitterDiggStumbleUponDelicious

20-Oct-2019