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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!Permalink | 5 Comments
Oh Charlie, that grammar one was my favourite post EVER! And now there’s another, and just as fun, lucky me.
Hah! The concept of medics leaving someone to die due to their poor grammar fills me with a shining light. Keep up the good work, young man.
Am I the only bastard commenting these days? For SHAME, other lurkers. For shame… I’d e-bitchslap yas if only I could catch you.
Have you heard a grammar school ditty from the early 1900’s that starts with:
“The rule of three, it puzzles me.
Declension drives me wild”
I need the last two lines.
This is hilarious! You need to do one for the people who write “it’s” for the possessive. Maybe something like:
Only write “it’s” if you mean “it is”
If you mean something belongs to “it”
It’s simply “its”
Get it right you stupid shit.
Okay, I’ll leave the grammar poetry to you!
I enjoyed reading this