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Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Grammar is my father's mother of necessity

Now that I am 41, it's only fitting that this weekend sees a visit from my oldest friend and his four year old wife..... And that in a nutshell is what I love so dearly about the English language.

Clearly the weekend can't see anything, it is a period of time and doesn't have eyes to speak of. My oldest friend isn't that old (in fact he's the same age as me give or take 10 days to be precise) and his wife is much older than 4 (although not as old as either of us yet). Grammer on the other hand is as old as the language itself.

A couple of other friends and workmates have recently started blogging, (namely: Scobi, Stretch & A Bad Man) so I think they need to be made aware of the potential pitfalls of bad grammer while writing wrongs.

There are some very basic rules which I can't take the credit for documenting, but I'm pretty sure that whoever originally put them together won't mind me sharing them here. They are easy to follow and I do my best to do so throughout my writing of my blog. And honestly, I do not, not do so..... without further ado:

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, always avoid annoying alliteration.

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

14. All generalizations are bad.

15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

16. Don't use no double negatives.

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

18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

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

20. The passive voice is to be ignored.

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

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

23. Don’t overuse exclamation points!!!

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

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

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

27. Don’t use too many quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations.. Tell me what you know."

28. 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. Besides, hyperbole is always overdone, anyway.

29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.

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

31. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

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

33. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

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

35. People don’t spell "a lot" correctly alot of the time.

36. Each person should use their possessive pronouns correctly

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

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

39. The dash – a sometimes useful punctuation mark – can often be overused – even though it’s a helpful tool some of the time.

40. Proofread carefully to make sure you don’t repeat repeat any words.

41. In writing, it’s important to remember that dangling sentences.

41. When numbering in a written document, check your numbering system carefully.

There you have it. Stick with these and your righting won't be wrong. Or it might.

Back to where I started, and my oldest (not eldest friend) really is joining us for the weekend at some point on Saturday. We've been taking the p!ss out of eachother for about 25 years and I hope we'll continue to do so for another 25 (at least). I'm very much looking forward to the forthcoming mirth, but I know it will be accompanied by the consumption of quite a large quantity of alcohol. Age is catching up with me on that subject, so it will be a challenge, but I'm happy to report that since the birth of his daughter (about a year ago) he's started to slow up a little too - so I might just survive. Regardless, plenty of beer will be on ice and the hot tub will be all fired up and ready to go. If the weather holds out, might even fire up the reconditioned bar-b-q too.

Tonight is WTC night and the next round of PM debates and today I'm meeting up with my Commander for a review. This leaves me torn this evening. I'll be in need of a beverage after a stressful day - hence WTC, but I'll want to catch the debates which won't be on in the pub. Life's hard alot of the time. ;-) Have a grate day!
 

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