Friday, March 4, 2016

Throw Gramma Some Grammar

Celebrating Today! March 4 is National Grammar Day!

More Grammar

“Perfect grammar — persistent, continuous, sustained —
is the fourth dimension, so to speak;
many have sought it, but none has found it.”
—Mark Twain (1835-1910), Autobiography, 1906

. . . and, another classic:

Piddlin’ Rules 
1. No sentence fragments.
2. It behooves us to avoid archaisms.
3. Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
4. Don't use no double negatives.
5. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, “Resist hyperbole!”

6. Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
7. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
8. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
9. Writing carefully, dangling participles should not be used.
10. Kill all exclamation points!!!
11. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
12. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
13. Take the bull by the hand and don't mix metaphors.
14. Don’t verb nouns.
15. Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
16. Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.
—William Safire (1929-2009), Pulitzer Prize-winner, wordguy,
ial speechifier and columnist

. . . and on punctuation:

“He once telephoned a semicolon from Moscow.”
—James Agate (1877-1947), British diarist,
critic and master of the aphorism, 1935
(on being asked if a contemporary writer was a fastiduous journalist).

finally, what the heck . . .
“Bad spellers of the world, untie.”
—Graffiti, anon.

Editor’s Note: Untie? more like unravel.

PeezPix by Ted Pease

Green Alley

Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California.
(Be)Friend The WORD

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard

No comments:

Post a Comment