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
Fair speech may hide a foul heart. - JRR Tolkien

Speech is silver; silence is golden. - Thomas Carlyle

I'm a supporter of my free speech. - Howard Stern

Dance is the hidden language of the soul. - Martha Graham

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

Discretion in speech is more than eloquence. - Francis Bacon

I am the Roman Emperor and am above grammar. - Emperor Sigismund

A story is told as much by silence as by speech. - Susan Griffin

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

Bulldozing: Going to sleep during a political speech. - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

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

Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing. - Robert Benchley

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

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

The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so. - Gore Vidal

Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends. - Alphonse de Lamartine

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

Wisdom is knowing when to speak your mind and when to mind your speech. - Evangel

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

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

We really have everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language. - Oscar Wilde

Everybody laughs the same in every language because laughter is a universal connection. - Yakov Smirnoff

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

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

You're an old-timer if you can remember when setting the world on fire was a figure of speech. - Franklin P Jones

Sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in. - Jane Austen

Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without significant analogue in the animal world. - Noam Chomsky

Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife. - Kahlil Gibran

I, schooled in misery, know many purifying rites, and I know where speech is proper and where silence. - Aeschylus

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

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker. - Frederick Douglass

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 protean nature of the computer is such that it can act like a machine or like a language to be shaped and exploited. - Alan Kay

The ability to speak several languages is an asset, but the ability to keep your mouth shut in any language is priceless. - Unknown

The symbolic language of the crucifixion is the death of the old paradigm; resurrection is a leap into a whole new way of thinking. - Deepak Chopra

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

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


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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25-Oct-2021