Charlie Hatton About This
About Me
Email Me

Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

All Quotes
Site Search:

« A Maternal Dilemma | Main | Talkin' 'Bout Tapas »

Charlie-Style Grammar, Lesson Three

As an avid reader, an aspiring writer, and a nitpicking OCD-afflicted freakjob, I have a bit of a pet peeve about substandard grammar, spelling, and syntax. I'm not sure exactly why -- maybe my English teachers in school smacked me around a little harder than the other educators. Or maybe the 'l33t sp33k' I encounter every day on the web has finally gotten to me. Possibly, my parents beat me with a Webster's unabridged during my formative years. I can't say for sure.

"It's the same reason we remember what happened to Jack and Jill, or Old Mother Hubbard, or that adventurous young lass from Nantucket."

Whatever the origins of my obsession, in the end I'm here to help. So rather than rail and complain about our populace's seeming indifference to the rules of proper English, I decided to contribute to the cause, in my own small way. It's my contention that most people only remember one rule about grammar or spelling:

'I' before 'e'
Except after 'c',
Or when sounding like 'a',
As in 'neighbor' and 'weigh'.

We remember this not because it's the most important rule, nor is iit the one used most often. Unless your job involves something like, say, printing ceiling frieze receipts, you probably rarely use the rule at all. So why do we remember it?

Because it rhymes. It's the same reason we remember what happened to Jack and Jill, or Old Mother Hubbard, or that adventurous young lass from Nantucket.

So the answer is simple: we need more mnemonics like the one above. More rhymes, better grammar. Once the epiphany hit, I got to work immediately on a new set of memory aids. I delivered the first set over two years ago.

Then I forgot about them for a while. When you live the way I do, epiphanies have a way of getting buried under the clutter on your desk. Or mangled by the dog and forgotten in the dirty clothes basket.

But just a few months ago, I managed a new set of mnemonics. And since those have had the same null effect as the first set, I'm back again for round three. Honestly, if we could just get a few of these ditties into the kindergarten classrooms, I'm convinced the literacy rate would skyrocket. Like this one, for instance:

'You may say that your stripper's
'Not hardly filling that bra';
But you'll still have to tip her,
When she corrects your faux pas.'

A grammar lesson, and a tip on boobie bar social etiquette. Eat that, Reading Rainbow! Let's try another:

'If you've lost your pencil
Somewheres around here,
Let me know when you've found it,
So I can cram it in your ear.'

This is why it's unlikely I'll ever be allowed to teach these rhymes in schools myself, of course. And probably why no one ever lets me borrow a pencil. Moving right along:

'You might go 'on the lam',
Once the fuzz is alerted;
But if you're 'on the lamb',
Ewe're shearly fleecing perverted.'

Like I always say, it's not a proper English lesson until the bad puns and beastiality innuendo start flying. How about one more, to take us home:

'When comparing two things,
Never claim one is 'best';
Unless they're Super Bowl rings,
Or boobs on a chest.'

Close your lesson books and put down your pencils, students. You can study quietly or put your heads on your desks until the bell rings. Just don't disturb the teacher while I get started on my 'liquid recess'. Class dismissed.

Permalink | Comments (3)



now can you think of something for people who say, "drownded". god that gets on my nerves!

One of my pet hates is people who use double negatives, as in the Rolling Stone's 'I can't get no satisfaction' although songwriters seem to get away with it.
Another one is double superlatives such "His version of the song was 'more better'
than the original' (this is a bad example, I know, but there are more obvious examples around)

"Do you herd sheep?" old Gramma sighed.
My Grandpa leaped in fright.
"That grammar's wrong!" to me he cried.
"Have you heard sheep? is right!"

- Walt Kelly

Post a comment

HomeAboutArchiveBestShopEmail © 2003-15 Charlie Hatton All Rights Reserved
Me on Science:
  Secondhand SCIENCE

Me on ZuG (RIP):
  Zolton's FB Pranks
  Zolton Does Amazon

Me on Baseball:
  Bugs & Cranks

Me on Apartments:
  Author Page

Three Wee Tweets:
Favorite Posts:
30 Facts: Alton Brown
A Commute Dreary
A Hallmark Moment
Blue's Clues Explained
Eight Your 5-Hole?
El Classo de Espanol
Good News for Goofballs
Grammar, Charlie-Style
Grammar, Revisitated
How I Feel About Hippos
How I Feel About Pinatas
How I Feel About Pirates
Life Is Like...
Life Is Also Like...
Smartass 101
Twelve Simple Rules
Unreal Reality Shows
V-Day for Dummies
Wheel of Misfortune
Zolton, Interview Demon

Me, Elsewhere

Standup Comedy Clips

Selected Clips:
  09/10/05: Com. Studio
  04/30/05: Goodfellaz
  04/09/05: Com. Studio
  01/28/05: Com. Studio
  12/11/04: Emerald Isle
  09/06/04: Connection

Boston Comedy Clubs

 My 100 Things Posts

Selected Things:
  #6: My Stitches
  #7: My Name
  #11: My Spelling Bee
  #35: My Spring Break
  #36: My Skydives
  #53: My Memory
  #55: My Quote
  #78: My Pencil
  #91: My Family
  #100: My Poor Knee

More Features:

List of Lists
33 Faces of Me
Punchline Fever
Simpsons Quotes
Quantum Terminology

...Bleeding Obvious
By Ken Levine
Defective Yeti
Divorced Dad of Two
Gallivanting Monkey
Junk Drawer
Life... Weirder
Little. Red. Boat.
Mighty Geek
Scott's Tip of the Day
Something Authorly
Unlikely Explanations

Full Archive

Category Archives:

(Stupid) Computers (70)
A Doofus Is Me (203)
Articles 'n' Zines (74)
Audience Participation (35)
Awkward Conversations (176)
Bits About Blogging (168)
Bitter Old Man Rants (50)
Blasts from My Past (78)
Cars 'n' Drivers (60)
Dog Drivel (78)
Eek!Cards (267)
Foodstuff Fluff (116)
Fun with Words! (71)
Googlicious! (27)
Grooming Gaffes (88)
Just Life (238)
Loopy Lists (33)
Making Fun of Jerks (59)
Marketing Weenies (66)
Married and a Moron (185)
Miscellaneous Nonsense (62)
Potty Talk / Yes, I'm a Pig (84)
Sleep, and Lack Thereof (34)
TV & Movies & Games, O My! (101)
Tales from the Stage (74)
Tasty Beverages (29)
The Happy Homeowner (81)
Vacations 'n' Holidays (134)
Weird for the Sake of Weird (71)
Whither the Weather (40)
Wicked Pissah Bahstan (49)
Wide World o' Sports (124)
Work, Work, Work (206)

Alas Smith and Jones
Berkeley Breathed
Bill Hicks
Dave Barry
Dexter's Laboratory
Douglas Adams
Evening at the Improv
Fawlty Towers
George Alec Effinger
Jake Johannsen
Married... With Children
Monty Python
Nick Bakay
Peter King
Ren and Stimpy
Rob Neyer
Sluggy Freelance
The Simpsons
The State

Plugs, Shameless
Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass



Blogging Fusion Blog Directory


Listed on BlogShares

Top Blogs


Feeds and More
Subscribe via FeedBurner


RSS 2.0
Site Hosting:
Solid Solutions

Powered by:

Title Banner Photo:
Shirley Harshenin

Creative Commons License
  This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License

Mint Installation

Performancing Metrics

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Valid XHTML 1.0

Valid CSS!

© 2003-15 Charlie Hatton
All Rights Reserved