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
Humor is a universal language. - Joel Goodman

Fair speech may hide a foul heart. - JRR Tolkien

Language is a virus from outer space. - William S Burroughs

The eyes have one language everywhere. - George Herbert

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

I am disappointment in you're grammar. - Unknown

Speech is of time; silence is of eternity. - Thomas Carlyle

Music is the universal language of mankind. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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

Tears at times have all the weight of speech. - Ovid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All poetry is a reproduction of the tones of actual speech. - Robert Frost

A sage thing is timely silence, and better than any speech. - Plutarch

To a child's ear, 'mother' is magic in any language. - Arlene Benedict

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Officialese: A government language where you can understand the words, but not the sentences - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

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

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

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

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

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

Music is a language that doesn't speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it's in the bones, it's in the bones. - Keith Richards

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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08-Mar-2021