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

A riot is the language of the unheard. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

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. - Francis Bacon

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

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

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

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

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

Quota: Someone who likes to report other people's speech - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

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

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

Dreams say what they mean, but they don't say it in daytime language. - Gail Godwin

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

I am going to give a long speech today. I haven't had time to prepare a short one. - Winston Churchill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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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06-Jul-2022