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    The Best Things Ever Said about Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation

Writer on Typewriter

To help you along as a writer, here are the best things ever said about spelling, grammar, and punctuation so the three are kept in proper perspective. (These quotes — "quotations" for the purists — come from a book that I am putting together called Life's Ludicrous Handbook.)

    As far as I'm concerned, "whom" is a word that was invented to make everyone sound like a butler.

    — Calvin Trillin

     At painful times, when composition is impossible and reading is not enough, grammar and dictionaries are excellent for distraction.

    — Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.

    — A. A. Milne

     George Moore wrote brilliant English until he discovered grammar.

    — Oscar Wilde

    Commas in The New Yorker fall with the precision of knives in a circus act, outlining the victim.

    — E. B. White

    Reading and writing, arithmetic and grammar do not constitute education, any more than a knife, fork and spoon constitute a dinner.

    — John Lubbock

     Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.

    — F. Scott Fitzgerald

    I don't want to talk grammar. I want to talk like a lady.

    — George Bernard Shaw

    What the devil to do with the sentence "Who the devil does he think he's fooling?" You can't write "Whom the devil- "

    — Paul Goodman

    When I hear the hypercritical quarreling about grammar and style, the position of the particles, etc., etc., stretching or contracting every speaker to certain rules of theirs . . . I see that they forget that the first requisite and rule is that expression shall be vital and natural, as much as the voice of a brute or an interjection: first of all, mother tongue; and last of all, artificial or father tongue. Essentially your truest poetic sentence is as free and lawless as a lamb's bleat.

     — Henry David Thoreau

My Gift to the Writers of the World

Work image

This free E-book in PDF format called 1001 Best Things Ever Said about Work and the Workplace is the ultimate book of quotations about work for the professional speaker, journalist, author, career advisor, life coach, and connoisseur of great quotations. It also makes great reading for just about everyone.

Refer to the Table of Contents and you will see that this E-book is organized into over 125 subjects and categories for easy reference.

What's more, all you have to do is place your cursor on the category and you will taken to the respective page for the category.

Partial Table of Contents of Subject Areas

  • Ability
  • Accomplishing the Impossible
  • Action
  • Aggravations of Work
  • Ambition
  • Artists at Work
  • Bad Days at Work
  • Boring Work
  • Breaking New Ground
  • Bureaucracy
  • Busyness
  • Careers
  • Career Advice
  • Change in the Workplace
  • Committees
  • Communication in the Workplace
  • Competence
  • Competition
  • Computers
  • Creativity in the Workplace
  • Crisis Management
  • Dating People at Work
  • Delegation

You can place 1001 Best Things Ever Said about Work (and the Workplace) on your website as an important retirement resource for your readers and clients.

Download this E-book for free:

 Creative Free E-books at the Real Success Resource Center

If you would like a JPG of cover of the E-book for your website, let me know.

Ernie Zelinski

Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

3 Comment count
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Great fun.

My favorite: "An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke."

 I hate exclamation points!!!

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My Husband's Favorite Grammar Quotation

Should have added my husband's favorite grammar quotation: 

"Grammar is a lot like sex. If you're lucky, you'll make it through your entire life without someone pointing out everything you're doing wrong."

The reason it's my husband's favorite: It's from "Mortal Syntax," written by his wife.

: )

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I agree in part.

I agree in part. HOWEVER.....Latin-based grammar (of which English draws largely) is very consistent with mathematical logic.  For example, we avoid double negatives, and such, (except in Spanish), we have very well defined subjects and objects, and pretty meaningful conjugations and declensions.

When it comes to playing with language, one must never confuse style with content.  Rules of grammar are necessary to maintain a USEFUL language, perhaps at the cost of poetry.

Like fiddling with the Constitution.....alterations should be POSSIBLE, but they should also be DIFFICULT.