Samuel Johnson - The Human Spark - Gilles Deleuze - Philip Howard - Noam Chomsky - Carl Sandburg - Friedrich Nietzsche - Mark Twain - Benjamin Disraeli - H L Mencken - Jason Chamberlain - Zadie Smith - Baltasar Gracian - Douglas Adams - Edgar Allan Poe - William Safire - Jack Kerouac - Lynn Truss - Author Unknown - Winston Churchill - John Green - Gertrude Stein - Dorothy L Sayers - Kurt Vonnegut - Robert Graves - A P Martinich - Thomas Binkley - George Cardona - Oliver Goldsmith -
I have laboured to refine our language to grammatical purity, and to clear it from colloquial barbarisms, licentious idioms, and irregular combinations. Samuel Johnson, cited The Rambler 14th March 1752
Grammar is what makes human language critical to igniting the human spark. The Human Spark III: Brain Matters, PBS 2010
It takes perhaps ten or fifteen years for the brain to organise itself to process grammar swiftly and efficiently. ibid.
6Forming grammatically correct sentences is for the normal individual the prerequisite for any submission to social laws. No one is supposed to be ignorant of grammaticality … The unity of language is fundamentally political. Gilles Deleuze, Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
1) Correct speling is essential.
2) Don’t use no double negatives.
3) Verbs has got to agree with their subjects.
4) Don’t run on sentences they are hard to read.
5) About them sentence fragments.
6) Don’t use commas, that aren’t necessary.
7) Remember to not ever split infinitives.
8) A preposition is not a good word to end a sentence with.
9) Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
10) Always use apostrophe’s correctly.
11) Make each singular pronoun agree with their antecedents.
12) Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.
13) Proofread your writing to make sure you don’t words out.
And, above all, avoid cliches like the plague. Philip Howard, The Thirteen Gremlins of Grammar
The notion ‘grammatical’ cannot be identified with ‘meaningful’ or ‘significant’ in any semantic sense. Sentences (1) and (2) are equally nonsensical, but ... only the former is grammatical.
1) Colourless green ideas sleep furiously.
2) Furiously sleep ideas green colourless. Noam Chomsky, Syntactic Structures, 1957
It’s perfectly obvious that there is some genetic factor that distinguishes humans from other animals and that it is language-specific. The theory of that genetic component, whatever it turns out to be, is what is called universal grammar. Noam Chomsky
Descriptive grammar is an attempt to give an account of what the current system is for either a society or an individual, whatever you happen to be studying. Noam Chomsky
I never made a mistake in grammar but one in my life and as soon as I done it I seen it. Carl Sandburg
I fear we are not getting rid of God because we still believe in grammar. Friedrich Nietzsche
Ignorant people think it’s the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain’t so; it’s the sickening grammar they use. Mark Twain
I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way. Mark Twain
‘Which is him?’ The grammar was faulty, maybe, but we could not know, then, that it would go in a book someday. Mark Twain, Roughing It
I will not go down to posterity talking bad grammar. Benjamin Disraeli
Correct spelling, indeed, is one of the arts that are far more esteemed by schoolma’ams than by practical men, neck-deep in the heat and agony of the world. H L Mencken, The American Language
Morals and manners will rise or decline with our attention to grammar. Jason Chamberlain, 1811
The past is always tense, the future perfect. Zadie Smith
A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one. Baltasar Gracián
One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem in becoming your own father or mother that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can’t cope with. There is no problem with changing the course of history – the course of history does not change because it all fits together like a jigsaw. All the important changes have happened before the things they were supposed to change and it all sorts itself out in the end.
The major problem is simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr Dan Streetmentioner’s Time Traveler’s Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it. The event will be described differently according to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from a time in the further future, or a time in the further past and is further complicated by the possibility of conducting conversations while you are actually travelling from one time to another with the intention of becoming your own mother or father.
Most readers get as far as the Future Semiconditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional before giving up; and in fact in later aditions of the book all pages beyond this point have been left blank to save on printing costs.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy skips lightly over this tangle of academic abstraction, pausing only to note that the term ‘Future Perfect’ has been abandoned since it was discovered not to be. Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before – and thus was the Empire forged. Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
A man’s grammar, like Caesar’s wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity. Edgar Allan Poe
* Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
* Don’t use no double negatives.
* Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn’t.
* Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
* Do not put statements in the negative form.
* Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
* No sentence fragments.
* Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
* Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
* If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
* A writer must not shift your point of view.
* Eschew dialect, irregardless.
* And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
* Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!
* Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
* Writers should always hyphenate between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyph-ens.
* Write all adverbial forms correct.
* Don’t use contractions in formal writing.
* Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
* It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms.
* If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
* Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.
* Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors.
* Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
* Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
* Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
* If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.
* Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
* Don't string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
* Always pick on the correct idiom.
* “Avoid overuse of ‘quotation’ ‘marks.””
* The adverb always follows the verb.
* Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague; seek viable alternatives. William Safire, Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage, New York Times 4th November 1979
Man, wow, there’s so many things to do, so many things to write! How to even begin to get it all down and without modified restraints and all hung-up on like literary inhibitions and grammatical fears ... Jack Kerouac, On the Road
If you still persist in writing, ‘Good food at it’s best’, you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave. Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Punctuation marks are the traffic signals of language: they tell us to slow down, notice this, take a detour, and stop. ibid.