Old School.

Source: FOBO (Fromoldbooks.org)

Grammar mnemonics and rules I found written down in a notebook from 7th grade that I had completely forgotten:

I before E except after C and when it sounds like “a” as in “neighbor” and “weigh”.

And also when it sounds like “i” as in “heist” and “Fahrenheit”.

And also for some reason when it sounds like “e” as in “protein”, which is weird.


Never end a sentence with a preposition unless the sentence ends with “a preposition.


Confusing “who” and “whom” is really the worst

So never ever ask “Whom’s on first?”


Be more or less specific and decisive if that’s okay with you.


“I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Gray” is spelled with an “a”

Except in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and also the UK.


“Color” and “flavor” are spelled without “u”

Except outside the United States, pretty much anywhere you’d want to go to.


A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea, but it seems like ideas should get a category of their own.


“Sesquipidalian” should be replaced with something that sounds less like a deep sea animal.


Splitting infinitives is to usually be avoided.


A “dessert” has twice as much sugar as a “desert” if your dessert is sugar-free because deserts don’t have any sugar at all.


A “principle” is a rule or belief, a “principal” is a school leader who pretends to be your pal to maintain the status quo, and Victoria Principal wasn’t the one who shot J.R., was she?


Most sentences are subject-verb-object and “subject”, “verb”, and “object” are three nouns that really need a category of their own.


The “b” in “subtle” is pretty much what it says it is.


Now you know how to tow two toes.


Double negatives should never not be used.


Similes are like metaphors but different.


The only rule that has no exceptions is the rule that there’s an exception to every rule.


No one remembers who Mnemosyne is.

Source: Imgur

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  1. m

    No wonder people say English is so difficult to learn!

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I just watched something, which of course I can’t find now, about how Welsh-speaking children learn to read sooner than English-speaking children because spelling in Welsh is more consistent. Welsh! But it also said learning to read French is harder than learning to read English which I can believe.


    Message received, Chris. And I’m now going to happily read more of your principled posts.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Fortunately with your help I’ll never need a mnemonic to remind me how to spell “Ann”.


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