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

I am disappointment in you're grammar. - Unknown

Discretion in speech is more than eloquence. - Francis Bacon

Speech is the vestibule to the palace of love. - Jami of Persia

Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech. - Martin Fraquhar Tupper

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

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

The art of communication is the language of leadership. - James Humes

Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain. - Lily Tomlin

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

There is no language like the Irish for soothing and quieting. - John Millington Synge

An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. - Martin Buber

Changes in language often reflect the changing values of a culture. - Ravi Zacharias

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

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. - Mark Twain

Laughter is, after speech, the chief thing that holds society together. - Max Eastman

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

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. - Mark Twain

If we are a country committed to free speech, then why do we have phone bills? - Steven Wright

No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut. - Sam Rayburn

Three problems we have: lack of boundaries, insufficient language, incompletions. - Thomas Leonard

The most beautiful words in the English language are "cheque enclosed". - Dorothy Parker

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

Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect. - Owens L. Pomeroy

Speak when you're angry and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret. - L.J. Peter

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

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

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

If we do not believe in freedom of speech for those we despise, we do not believe in it at all. - Noam Chomsky

Every St. Patrick's Day every Irishman goes out to find another Irishman to make a speech to. - Unknown

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

Fashion is free speech, and one of the privileges, if not always one of the pleasures, of a free world. - Alison Lurie

Although he tortures the English language, he has not yet succeeded in forcing it to reveal its meaning. - J B Morton

Language, identity, place, home: these are all of a piece - just different elements of belonging and not-belonging. - Jhumpa Lahiri

Morals are an acquirement - like music, like a foreign language, like piety, poker, paralysis - no man is born with them. - Mark Twain

Charity, good behaviour, amiable speech, unselfishness - these by the chief sage have been declared the elements of popularity. - Burmese Proverb

Two may talk together under the same roof for many years, yet never really meet; and two others at first speech are old friends. - Mary Catherwood

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. - Nelson Mandela


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

 

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31-May-2020