The Basic Rules Of English Grammar

Posted at 02:20am on 4th August 2009

I came across the following rules of English grammar and, since no one seems to know where they originated, am reproducing them here for the benefit of writers and aspiring authors.

I’m not sure that I agree with all of them. How about you? Leave a comment at the end if you have anything to add or contradict in the following list.

  1. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  2. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
  4. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  5. Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.
  6. Avoid clichés like the plague. (They're old hat)
  7. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
  8. Apropos foreign words and phrases: they should not be used.
  9. Always be more or less specific.
  10. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
  11. Also too, never, ever use repetitive words.
  12. No sentence fragments.
  13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
  14. One should never generalise.
  15. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
  16. Don't use no double negatives.
  17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  19. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
  20. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  21. The passive voice is to be ignored.
  22. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary.
  23. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
  24. Kill all exclamation points!!!
  25. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  26. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth shaking ideas.
  27. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.
  28. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  29. 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.
  30. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
  31. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  32. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  33. Who needs rhetorical questions?
  34. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  35. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. And finally...
  36. Always check yur spelling. In the your title too.

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