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

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

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

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

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

A fool is known by his speech; and a wise man by silence. - Pythagoras

Real programmers can write assembly code in any language. - Larry Wall

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

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

Reality can be lost when reason and language have been violated. - Ravi Zacharias

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

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

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

If you're a good numbers person, you're a bad language person. - Frank Luntz

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

Symptoms are the body's mother tongue; signs are in a foreign language. - John Brown

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

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

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

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

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

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

The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech. - George Bernard Shaw

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

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

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

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

If the English language made any sense, 'lackadaisical' would have something to do with a shortage of flowers. - Doug Larson

Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words. - Robert G Ingersoll

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

"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


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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26-Jan-2021