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

Speech is silver; silence is golden. - Thomas Carlyle

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

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

I am the Roman Emperor and am above grammar. - Emperor Sigismund

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. - Martin Buber

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

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

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

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

Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect. - Owens L. Pomeroy

We really have everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language. - Oscar Wilde

Speak when you're angry and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret. - L.J. Peter

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

People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid. - Soren Kierkegaard

Everybody laughs the same in every language because laughter is a universal connection. - Yakov Smirnoff

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

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

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

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

I, schooled in misery, know many purifying rites, and I know where speech is proper and where silence. - Aeschylus

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

Already, companies that speak in the language of the pitch, the dog-and-pony show, are no longer speaking to anyone. - Unknown

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

Morals are an acquirement - like music, like a foreign language, like piety, poker, paralysis - no man is born with them. - Mark Twain

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

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence? - George Carlin

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


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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30-Sep-2020