Monday, August 24, 2009

PROPER English


It was bound to happen sooner or later. Here's a writing-related forward I got and had to share, just for laughs.


1. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

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.

10. No sentence fragments.

11. Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.

12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than
necessary; it's highly superfluous.

14. One should NEVER generalize.

15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

16. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

17. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

18. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

19. The passive voice is to be ignored.

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

21. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would
suffice.

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

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

24. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I
hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

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

26. Puns are for children, not groan readers.

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

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

29. Who needs rhetorical questions?

30. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than
understatement.

And the last one...

31. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
Q4U: Which rule resonates with you the most? Which one irks you the most?

Wordle: signature

22 comments:

Ralene said...

One should never generalize is actually pretty good advice. We can't build a world in our readers' mind if we aren't specific. With most of the rest, I slowly felt my creativity being squashed. hehehe...

Tess said...

love the badge! I have to admit..I'm guilty. I've read Strunk and White...I've taken all the classes...but I make some of these errors.

Janna Qualman said...

This was great!

Jenna said...

That was great! Thanks for sharing. It made me smile.

I think my favorite is #31. None of them really irk me, except for maybe the ones that say to never use fragments or start a sentence with a conjunction. Those things can actually be used quite effectively in some situations, or at least I think so.

Hope all's well on your end! :)

Jenna

Jessica said...

LOL I've seen this before!
Verrry funny!
None of them bother me. :-) Rules are meant to be broken. Ha!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Love 31--seems they didn't take their own advice!!!! LOL

Travis Erwin said...

Thanks for making me smile on a Monday morning.

JStantonChandler said...

That's fun! I may have to borrow the badge ;) My husband is always calling me the Grammar Police! Thanks for the laugh!

Jen

Keli Gwyn said...

Enjoyed the list, Jeannie. Thanks for sharing.

T. Anne said...

Ha! Love it! I'm printing it out and sharing with my students.

awidge said...

I love this list, it always makes me laugh. I was a huge grammar rebel in school; I break rules 3, 4, 8, 10,and 17 all the time. With pleasure.

And as a linguistics major I support the right of the people to break grammar rules as long as they can make themselves understood.

But I have some very strong gramatical pet peeves. I find 20, 16, and 13 especially annoying.

Stephanie Faris said...

CUTE! Don't start a sentence with a conjunction. I break that rule ALL THE TIME. Heck, I think half my book is made up of sentences that begin with conjunctions! It just feels more conversational and natural to me.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

you know...i was afraid of how this post would be received....but i guess a writer's sense of humor is about the same. :)

Jody Hedlund said...

GREAT list, Jeannie! Thanks for making me laugh today! :)

Lynnette Labelle said...

They're all great! Thanks for sharing.

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

Lily said...

Let me say my goodbyes before you drag me off to jail...

Elizabeth Byler Younts said...

I'll have bookmark this one...grammar is not my strong suit...thanks for the great list.

Katie Ganshert said...

Halarious! I think I've gotten that one before. Fun to reread. :)

Danyelle said...

Love the list. Reminds me not to take myself too seriously. I'm usually a law abiding person, but when it comes to writing, I tend to focus on what works well, rather than the rules. Grammar and I are like second cousins twice-removed. We nod at each other as we pass on the street, but hang with our own crowds. :p

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

danyelle - you cracked me up...seriously! what an appropriate analogy (if it fits!) :)

Tara said...

I love the badge! And I love all the rules.

Debra E Marvin said...

Jeannie, I have this list on my wall and I believe it was created by a man named Don Nylin. If he's not the author, he borrowed it from somewhere and didn't say where.
I use them on my email signature at work.
thanks for sharing it!