One of the posts I had the most fun writing -- and one I often use in my standup act -- was written two years ago this month. It listed helpful ways to remember grammar lessons (and spelling rules, as was pointed out by a commenter).
"Am I out there, spelling words like 'heinous' and 'deceived' and 'sex fiend' seventeen times a day?"
I've decided it's time to revisit the idea, and to add a few more lessons to the primer. First, a bit of background to catch you up:
I realized a while back that, after years of English and grammar classes in grade school, high school, and college, I could only recall one lesson on the subject. It's the rule of:
'I' before 'e'
Except after 'c',
Or when sounding like 'a',
As in 'neighbor' and 'weigh'.
And it made me wonder -- why do I remember that, and nothing else? Am I out there, spelling words like 'heinous' and 'deceived' and 'sex fiend' seventeen times a day? No. Of course not.
I mean, I haven't written a personal ad in years. So that can't be it.
I decided it was because it rhymes. I've heard that it's easier for people to remember shit that rhymes. And that's when it hit me -- why not learn all our grammar lessons that way, so we'll remember them all? Simple!
So, I tested the theory. I came up with mnemonics like:
'There's no room for 'of'
In 'I could of been rich.'
The correct word is have,
You ignorant bitch.'
See? I could remember that, I think. So I kept working, and produced more like:
'Don't use 'their' with an 'i'
When you mean 'they are', or 'there'.
If you keep that shit up,
I'll dip your nethers in Nair.'
Small words, clear message -- you could teach that to a four-year-old. I'm just trying to give back, here.
And now, two years later, I'm ready to give more. So here are a few more ditties to help you learn 'Grammar, Charlie-Style':
'A lot's not one word,
Unless there are things being alloted.
Keep using alot to mean 'many'
And you'll end up garroted.'
Nice talk. Let's try another:
'If you don't know that excepted
Means 'left out' or 'not included';
It will be widely accepted
That your dumb ass is deluded.'
Now we're rolling. Play it again:
'You should say, 'I'm not well'
Instead of, 'I don't feel good'.
The medics might leave you to die,
If you're misunderstood.'
And one more for the road:
'Many grammatical errors
May be excused or forgotten;
But I'll bitchslap your punk ass
Next time you claim, 'It has been broughten!''
Whoops, there's the bell. Single-file out the door, kids. I'll see you back here in another two years or so. Class dismissed!