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 the Roman Emperor and am above grammar. - Emperor Sigismund

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

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

I will not down to posterity talking bad grammar. - Benjamin Disraeli

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

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

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

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

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

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

When people are proud of their speech, be proud of your silence. - Luqman

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. - William Butler Yeats

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

Silence is the language of God; it is also the language of the heart. - Sivananda

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

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

Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. - Thomas Carlyle

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

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe. - Jimmy Durante

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

At no time is freedom of speech more precious than when a man hits his thumb with a hammer. - Marshall Lumsden

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

The first man to use abusive language instead of his fists was the founder of civilization. - Sigmund Freud

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

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

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

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

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

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

The names of colors are at the edge, between where language fails and where it's at its most powerful. - A.S. Byatt

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

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

Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn't mean anything else. - C S Lewis

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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29-May-2022