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
Silence is safer than speech. - Epictetus

Humor is a universal language. - Joel Goodman

Speech is silver; silence is golden. - Thomas Carlyle

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

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

The eyes have one language everywhere. - George Herbert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We need a president who's fluent in at least one language. - Buck Henry

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

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

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

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

Laughter is, after speech, the chief thing that holds society together. - Max Eastman

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

No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut. - Sam Rayburn

If you cannot understand me in my speech, how can you understand me in my silence? - Ravi Zacharias

Language: The blood of the soul into which thoughts run, and out of which they grow - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

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

I never made a mistake in grammar but once in my life, and as soon as I done it. I seen it. - Carl Sandburg

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

Grammar, which knows how to lord it over kings, and with high hands makes them obey its laws. - Moliere

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

Grammar: 1. Lives with granpar; 2. The difference between Feeling Your Nuts and Feeling You’re Nuts. - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

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

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

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

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

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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23-Jan-2022