Friday, December 3, 2010


The last thing I want to do is make an ass out of you and me, so I try to be pretty careful.

I learned never to ask a woman, no matter how tiny the rest of her body is compared to her belly, when she is expecting.

I learned never to express joy, no matter how in love she claimed to be two days prior, over a friend’s new relationship. (Oh, he broke up with you last night. Ooops. Um, drinks are on me.)

And I certainly never assume anything when it has to do with the English language.

We can’t even assume our most popular rules are correct.

Remember i before e except after c or when sounded like a as in neighbor or weigh?

What about heir and seize and weird, huh?

And most of the time we simply slap an ly on the end of an adjective to make it into an adverb:

Bad + ly = badly
Clear +ly = clearly
Genuine+ ly = genuinely

Unfortunately, we can’t assume that this is the case for all adjectives. It’s certainly not the case for true. True loses its e before it gains its ly:

True - e + ly = truly

Isn’t that outrageous? It’s truly, truly, truly outrageous!


HulaBuns said...

JEM!! I'm gonna live forever! *singing* - Thanks, now that song is in my head. lol

...I'm gonna learn how to fly. *still singing* Wait, are those the words to the Fame song? Sigh. I'm a mess today....

Great lessons as always! Have a great weekend. :)

Meg O. said...

Ah, the complicated workings of grammar! Thank you for the fabulous Friday lesson!

Tere Kirkland said...


LOL, thanks for the flashback.

Great post!

Joanna St. James said...

ha! I have a question today is it correct to say chloe and me instead of chloe and I?

Theresa Milstein said...

The great thing about English is there's an exception to every rule. Keeps us on our toes.

Jem? Too young for me. I'm missing the reference here. Where's Josie and the Pussycats?

Jeffrey Beesler said...

My sisters used to watch Jem every day after school, along with My Little Pony. Thankfully, I had my fill of Transformers, He-Man, Smurfs, and *ahem* Muppet Babies to get me through my afterschool afternoons.

Guinevere said...

English is such a perplexing language. I'm glad I grew up with it so that I'm used to its illogical rules - what a pain it would be to learn!

Anonymous said...

You are so good at this! Do people ever send in anonymous grammar questions for you to answer? I'd probably send in a dozen or so, but I'm way (or is that weigh? haha) too embarASSed to. - G

The Invisible Seductress said...

Loved me some Jem!! I still have her hair..sans the pink sadly...(she says slappin' her adjective)Hugs....

David L Macaulay said...

sound advice here. Once when a friend broke up with his girlfriend I said 'no loss - she looked like a pig' - OK I was like 17 and more insensitive than now. Let's just say he got back with her and they have been married for almost 20 years!

Christopher said...

English has to be the most convoluted language in the world. When I took Spanish I was blown away at how easily all the rules worked.