(This post is in honor of National Grammar Day.)
The ability to speak and write like a complete idiot is, apparently, extremely important in today’s society. The more student papers I read, the more I find that they have learned this art much more thoroughly than students of years past did. In fact, college-level papers today receive more commendations (in the form of red marks) for write-like-an-idiot skills than did the eighth-grade papers I used to grade fifteen years ago.
For those of you who have not been fortunate enough to develop this elusive talent, I offer the following primer (be sure to pronounce that with a long “I”, like a first coat of paint, rather than its actual pronunciation, which is a short “I”.)
1. Subject-Verb Agreement: This must be thrown out the window if you want to write a student paper, blog post, or newspaper article. Increasingly, those who wish to be successful in politics and/or home-schooling should likewise jettison subject-verb agreement. All the cool kids is doing it.
2. The Past Tense of “See”: “Seen,” as in, “I seen him jump out of the window.” This is the cardinal rule of sounding like an idiot. And the second is like unto it:
3. Get Rid of Past Participles: It’s “had came,” “had went,” and “had did.” Always. Participles are for loosers.
4. Spell “looser” as demonstrated in No. 3.
5. Forget distinctions: “Lead/led,” “To/two/too,” “Your/you’re,” “There/their/they’re,” “It’s/its.” Their all the same. Its no difference.
6. Pronounce words lazily and then spell them accordingly. For example, pronounce “deal” so that it rhymes with “dill,” and then proceed to write it that way. This rule also applies to sale/sell, real/rill, and feel/fill. Again, there all the same. So go ahead and have that garage sell, but be sure to save your sells receipt. Its important.
7. The word “already” is obsolete: The word now is “done,” as in “He done done it.” (Translation for those of you still speaking and writing like non-idiots: “He already did it.”)
8. “Than” and “then” have completely traded places. If you didn’t get the memo, than it is time you took note. Its better too use them the way people uses them today then they way people use too.
9. Apostrophe’s are useful for plural’s. This is especially true for peoples names, especially on mailboxes and yard signs. “The Smith’s.” If the name already ends in “s”, than put the apostrophe somewhere in the middle of the name. “The Jone’s.” But dont go overboard: sometimes its better to leave the apostrophe’s out of words, especially when they arent plural’s.
10. “License” is plural and needs a plural verb. You can tell its plural because it has the “s” sound on the end, so you have to say “Did you get ’em yet?” when asking a 16-year old about his drivers license. After you get your license, be careful you dont speed, or you could lose them.
There are so many more rules, but these should give you a head start. With just a little practice, you too can be talking and writing like a complete idiot before you know it! Its possible!