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Author Topic: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened  (Read 5977 times)

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Offline Aerlys

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50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« on: January 21, 2015, 01:24:10 pm »
50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened; Or, How to Write Good (Original source unknown)

1.  Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.

2. Never use a preposition to end a sentence with. Winston Churchill, corrected on this error once, responded to the young man         who corrected him by saying "Young man, that is the kind of impudence up with which I will not put!"

3.  And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.

4.  It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

5.  Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)

6.  Also, avoid any awful anachronistic aggravating antediluvian alliterations.

7.  Be more or less specific.

8.  Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

9.  Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies endlessly over and over again.

10. No sentence fragments.

11. Contractions aren't always necessary and shouldn't be used to excess so don't.

12. Foreign words and phrases are not always apropos.

13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous and can be excessive. Stamp out and
eliminate redundancy.

14. Avoid those run-on sentences that just go on, and on, and on, they never stop, they just keep rambling, and you really wish the person would just shut up, but no, they just keep going, they're worse than the Energizer Bunny, they babble incessantly, and these sentences, they just never stop, they go on forever...if you get my drift…

15. You should never use the second person.

16. All generalizations are bad.

17. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

18. Don't use no double negatives. Don't never use no triple negatives.

19. Avoid excessive use of ampersands & abbrevs., etc.

20. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

21. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake (Unless they are as good as gold).

22. The passive voice should never be used..

23. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words, however, should be enclosed in commas.

24. Never use a big word when substituting a diminutive one would suffice.

25. Don't overuse exclamation points!!!

26. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

27. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas.

28. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed and use it correctly with words' that show possession.

29. Don't use too many quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations."

30. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a billion times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.

31. Besides, hyperbole is always overdone, anyway.

32. Puns are for children, not groan readers.

33. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

34. Keep your ear to the grindstone, your nose to the ground, take the bull by the horns of a dilemma, and stop mixing your  metaphors. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

35. Who needs rhetorical questions? However, what if there were no rhetorical questions?

36. Corollary: Complete sentences: important.

37. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement. Avoid those abysmally horrible, outrageously repellent exaggerations.

38. Avoid "buzz-words"; such integrated transitional scenarios complicate simplistic matters.

39. People don't spell "a lot" correctly alot of the time.

40. Each person should use their possessive pronouns correctly.

41. All grammar and spelling rules have exceptions (with a few exceptions)....Morgan's Law.

42. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

43. The dash - a sometimes useful punctuation mark - can often be overused - even though it's a helpful tool some of the time.

44. Proofread carefully to make sure you don't repeat repeat any words.

45. Never go off on tangents, which are lines that intersect a curve at only one point and were discovered by Euclid, who lived in the sixth century, which was an era dominated by the Goths, who lived in what we now know as Poland..

46. Don't use question marks inappropriately?

47. Don't obfuscate your theses with extraneous verbiage.

48. Never use that totally cool, radically groovy, out-of-date slang.

49.Avoid tumbling off the cliff of triteness into the black abyss of overused metaphors.

50. In writing, it's important to remember that dangling sentences



(Feel free to add you own!)


« Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 01:45:24 pm by Aerlys »
"Loss and possession, death and life are one, There falls no shadow where there shines no sun."

Hilaire Belloc

Offline Jerusha

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2015, 06:35:28 pm »
Now why do I see myself in so many of these rules?   :o

"41. All grammar and spelling rules have exceptions (with a few exceptions)....Morgan's Law."  Is this actually Murphy's law, but you have paid a tribute to all of us Morgan fanbabes?  ;D
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Evie

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2015, 07:05:22 pm »
To be honest, any decent copy editor will tell you that many of these "rules" are more like helpful guidelines that one is allowed (at times even encouraged) to break if doing so will produce a better written piece that communicates exactly what you wish to say in a manner that is clear and easily comprehensible.  For instance, Churchill had good reason to consider Rule 2 one "up with which he would not put," because slavish adherence to that guideline leads to horribly stilted writing. The teachers who still insist on that rule are generally those who were too busy memorizing  often outdated <insert angelic choir here> RULES </choir> to learn how a living language actually works. Others, on the other hand, need to be observed pretty much always.  If you go around breaking Rule 1 all the time ("I has a headache, my cat are hungry, but I sits here writing stoopid sentences"), people will have reason to think you've turned into a toddler or a LOLcat.  The trick is becoming conversant enough in knowing which "rules" are which in order to produce well written copy.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Evie

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2015, 07:11:50 pm »
All that said, number 45 made me laugh out loud, because I'm a nerd that way, and this list is the song of my people.  ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Aerlys

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2015, 12:19:57 am »
Heck, I only posted this for its humor. Rebel that I am, I don't agree with all of it. Rule 22, for example (and Rule 43 as it is written  violates #22).

Much depends on what one is writing. A work of fiction shouldn't read like a scientific research paper, and vice-versa.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 01:24:42 am by Aerlys »
"Loss and possession, death and life are one, There falls no shadow where there shines no sun."

Hilaire Belloc

Offline revanne

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2015, 03:48:55 am »
Can't quote properly on this tablet but my cats take exception to Evie's remark. They wish it to be clearly understood that everything a cat does is by definition purrfect, even grammar. They suggest you clearly meant to type "dog"
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline Evie

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2015, 07:52:02 am »
I are a dog by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Surprised Kitteh would like you to know that his grammar is purrfect...it's the rest of the world's usage that is all jacked up!  ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Aerlys

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2015, 02:10:03 pm »
Can't quote properly on this tablet but my cats take exception to Evie's remark. They wish it to be clearly understood that everything a cat does is by definition purrfect, even grammar. They suggest you clearly meant to type "dog"

Perhaps cats across the pond are just naturally more articulate than their American counterparts? 

« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 02:17:59 pm by Aerlys »
"Loss and possession, death and life are one, There falls no shadow where there shines no sun."

Hilaire Belloc

Offline Aerlys

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2015, 02:19:41 pm »
A message from revanne's moggy:

"Loss and possession, death and life are one, There falls no shadow where there shines no sun."

Hilaire Belloc

Offline Evie

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2015, 02:26:15 pm »
Methinks Shakespeare Kitten is an imposter, otherwise he would say "thy foul grammar."   ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline revanne

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2015, 02:38:57 pm »
:<)))
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline Aerlys

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2015, 02:40:57 pm »
Methinks Shakespeare Kitten is an imposter, otherwise he would say "thy foul grammar."   ;D

An American actor, obviously, and not classically trained.
"Loss and possession, death and life are one, There falls no shadow where there shines no sun."

Hilaire Belloc

Offline revanne

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2015, 03:14:09 pm »
"An american actor, obviously ". My understanding is that American English is in some ways closer to Shakespeare's English than current British usage. The only examples that come to mind are gotten as a past participle, instead of got, and sick for ill rather than poorly but I'm sure there are more.

I think moggies and kittehs from either side of the pond are more than capable of expressing their opinions. I love the pictures though and as I'm away from my computer for a few days while my sister looks after Dad to give me and DH a break I'm now wondering what said moggies (Simba and Where Khan) are up to in my absence.
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline Evie

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2015, 03:54:16 pm »
I seem to recall reading in a book about the history of the English language that certain parts of Appalachia may have a dialect that is closer to Shakespearean English in pronunciation than anywhere in the modern UK.  It makes sense considering how isolated some of those mountain communities are (with little contact with outside communities to influence language change), and that the earliest settlers there would have arrived not too long after Shakespeare's time.  Although that book was written probably over two decades ago, so the arrival of TV and radio to those areas might have effected rapid change since that time.  (Assuming such influences, that is.  There is one such community in the mountain region of Tennessee that my church does a mission trip to every summer to do such work as installing electrical wiring or modern plumbing facilities in impoverished people's homes, so just because we're in the 21st Century doesn't mean we can assume that everyone has access to TV and radio, even in the First World.)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline DesertRose

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Re: 50 Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2015, 04:07:28 pm »
One of my SCA friends, who presently lives in Florida, is a native of a small town in Tennessee and has the accent to prove it.  At an SCA event in October, he wowed us all by reciting long passages of several Shakespeare plays in the strongest rural Tennessee accent he could manage.  It was amazing.  The flow, rhyme, and meter came out perfectly, and it sounded freaking fantastic.  I made a comment about the rural Appalachian accents being closer to Shakespearean accents than anything else extant, and he just smiled.  :)

 

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