Author Archive | Jackie

Humpty Dumpty in French

(Read it aloud)

Un petit d’un petit
S’étonne aux Halles
Un petit d’un petit
Ah! degrés te fallent
Indolent qui ne sort cesse
Indolent qui ne se mène
Qu’importe un petit d’un petit
Tout Gai de Reguennes

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Funny headlines

These headlines have been doing the rounds for a while, and are allegedly real:

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

Minders Refuse to Work after Death

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

War Dims Hope for Peace

If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, it May Last Awhile

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

Red Tape Holds up New Bridges

Man Struck by Lightning; Faces Battery Charge

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

Kids Make Nutritious snacks

Local High School Dropouts Cut in half

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

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36 grammatical tips

  1. Always avoid annoying alliteration.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. Avoid clichés like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
  4. Employ the vernacular.
  5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
  7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  8. Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.
  9. Foreign words and phrases aren’t apropos. Even if they are Lingua Franca.
  10. One should never generalise.
  11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “I hate quotations, tell me what you know.”
  12. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
  13. Don’t be redundant or overly verbose. Don’t use more words than necessary, it’s highly superfluous.
  14. Be more or less specific.
  15. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forward earth-shaking ideas.
  16. One word sentences? Eliminate!
  17. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  18. The passive voice is to be avoided.
  19. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  20. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed. Track them down until the cows turn blue in the face.
  21. Who needs rhetorical questions?
  22. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  23. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.
  24. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
  25. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  26. No sentence fragments.
  27. Don’t use no double negatives.
  28. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
  29. Never use a big word when substituting a diminutive one would suffice.
  30. Kill all exclamation points!!!
  31. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  32. Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.
  33. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
  34. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
  35. Avoid “buzz-words”; such integrated transitional scenarios complicate simplistic matters.
  36. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
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I halve a spelling chequer

I halve a spelling checker
It came with my pea see
It plainly marks four my revue
Mistakes I dew knot sea

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait aweigh

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the era rite
Its rarely ever wrong

I’ve scent this massage threw it
And I’m shore your pleased too no
Its letter prefect in every weigh
My checker tolled me sew

(Original sauce unknown)

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What’s unusual about this paragraph?

“Gatsby was walking back from a visit down in Branton Hill’s manufacturing district on a Saturday night. A busy day’s traffic had had its noisy run; and with not many folks in sight, His Honor got along without having to stop to grasp a hand, or talk; for a mayor out of City Hall is a shining mark for any politician. And so, coming to Broadway, a booming bass drum and sounds of singing, told of a small Salvation Army unit carrying on amidst Broadway’s night shopping crowds. Gatsby, walking towards that group, saw a young girl, back toward him, just finishing a long, soulful oration … ”

From ‘Gatsby’ by Ernest Vincent Wright

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The unusual thing about the quoted paragraph is that the letter E is not used at all, even though it’s the most common letter in the English language.

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Count the Fs

Count the Fs in this sentence, once only:

FINISHED FILES ARE THE
RESULT OF YEARS OF
SCIENTIFIC STUDY
COMBINED WITH THE
EXPERIENCE OF YEARS

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There are 6 Fs but most people miss up to 3 of them because they read the word OF as OV.

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Aoccdrnig to rseaerch

Aoccdrnig to rseaerch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe.

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