March 21st, 2009

English is English. No IMglish, please.

I found this userpic on LiveJournal some time ago, and it immediately struck a chord.

Go. Click. I'll wait.

...

Back so soon? Oh, well. I guess I can't force you. There are seventeen useful mnemonic devices for remembering (and thereby avoiding) common mistakes in the English language. For the benefit of — well, everyone, basically, since it took me three or four times through to read all of them, and quite a few more before I gave up and used GIMP to copy each saying out at my own pace — I've copied them out here. Some are humorous, some are pet peeves of mine, some are both, and a couple are neither.

  • "Your stupid"? My stupid what?
  • Your throws of ecstasy send me into throes of amusement.
  • Never enter your PIN number on an ATM machine. You could get the HIV virus.
  • You can defuse a bomb. But diffusing it might be a bad idea.
  • If you really did have baited breath, you would smell rather fishy.
  • I before E except after C or when sounding like A as in neighbor and weigh. Unless it's weird.
  • Your is not mine. You're means you are.
  • Thru is only a word if you're referring to getting a hamburger in your car.
  • Rouge is a color. A rogue isn't.
  • Per se means of itself. Per say is only how you pronounce it.
  • A horde is a large group, often unruly. To hoard is to gather, and often references dragons.
  • Fire is fiery. Burn all misspellings.
  • Et cetera does not abbreviate to ect., ecc., or et. etc.
  • e.g. means for example, and i.e. means that is. i.e., always be correct.
  • You should definitely spell definitely definitely.
  • If you had a D, you wouldn't deserve congratulations.
  • A lot is two words. Allot means to distribute.

When you've memorized all these, Paul Brians has an absurdly long list of other common errors. He also has lists of common non-errors, commonly misspelled words, and other interesting things.