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FloVoyager
09-29-2006, 10:02 PM
pash started a thread, http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42475, concerning the old i before e except after c rule, and it got me to thinking.

Remember the old spelling and grammar mnemonics we all (okay, some of us) learned in grade school and (mostly) forgot? You know, those little sing-song poems and sayings intended to help us keep English grammar and spelling rules in mind, like i before e except after c, etc.

Anybody know any more of them? Thought we might make a collection of them here.

SeanDSchaffer
09-29-2006, 10:52 PM
A E I O U and sometimes Y and sometimes W.

The vowels--I learned that one in the 2nd or 3rd Grade.

Medievalist
09-29-2006, 11:20 PM
When two vowels go walking, the first usually does the talking.

ModoReese
09-30-2006, 04:48 AM
That no matter which version of there, their or they're you are using, they all start with THE.

Seems simple, but around my office I'm constantly seeing "thier". As in "I'll be right thier". **head explodes**

:rant:

Michelle

kikonie
09-30-2006, 04:53 AM
Okay, reaching here...

The only consonants you pronounce at the end of French words are the letters found in the word, 'careful'. Did you know that?

SeanDSchaffer
09-30-2006, 04:59 AM
Okay, reaching here...

The only consonants you pronounce at the end of French words are the letters found in the word, 'careful'. Did you know that?


Hmmm,

A friend of mine, who learned French in College, told me that the consonant 'z' was pronounced at the end of words.

This was in reference to a local apartment complex called 'Chez Ami'. She told me--and several others--that the first word 'Chez' was pronounced 'Shez'.

I am beginning to wonder if she really knew French as well as she claimed to. If the above quoted rule is true, then she obviously made a mistake in what she told us.


Interesting stuff.

kikonie
09-30-2006, 05:01 AM
She's correct, but for the wrong reason. You pronounce ANY final consonant where the next word starts with a vowel. Charming, isn't it?

TheIT
09-30-2006, 05:05 AM
Sean, I'm trying to remember from my high school French classess, but I think the "z" in Chez would be pronounced only if the following word begins with a vowel. French pronunciation tries to smooth words together if possible. So, "chez ami" would have the "z" pronounced, but "chez lui" would not.

ETA: Kikonie beat me to it, but I'll leave my response, too. ;)


To add to the mnemonics list, the only one I can think of offhand isn't grammar related, but hopefully it's close enough:

"Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November."

JanDarby
09-30-2006, 07:12 AM
The only consonants you pronounce at the end of French words are the letters found in the word, 'careful'.

What about 't'? As in Chat? and Huit. And maybe 'd' too. Isn't the word for Z in French Zed? Maybe 'm' too, except I can't think of a French word that ends in that, b/c it's been way too long.

JD

kikonie
09-30-2006, 07:19 AM
You say 'shat'?! um...don't

I just checked my French dictionaire: in faim (hunger), the m is not pronounced, but in sud (south), the d is

looks like French has exceptions, too

SeanDSchaffer
09-30-2006, 07:32 AM
I think that is quite charming, Kikonie. A little difficult to understand, but then again, I do not know much of any language save my native one. So I already am at a disadvantage when it comes to learning new stuff.

Although I have been told that my native language is the most difficult language in the world to learn...

Sandi LeFaucheur
09-30-2006, 03:25 PM
Not a word widely used outside of health or water: But there's no flour in fluoride.

Medievalist
09-30-2006, 07:38 PM
You say 'shat'?! um...don't

I just checked my French dictionaire: in faim (hunger), the m is not pronounced, but in sud (south), the d is

looks like French has exceptions, too

Some of the exceptions, like faim, are because it's a Gaulish word (it's still I.E. with cognates in other I.E. languages like famished) -- French is essentially a cross between Gaulish and Germanic, with a hefty dose of Latin. The Latin influence is dominant (there's a reason we call it a Romance language) but the earliest substructure and vocabulary are Gaulish, with a hefty dose of Germanic words borrwed from Norman into French.

kikonie
09-30-2006, 08:50 PM
<prostrates self before greatness>

Thank you, Medie - you rule! You just morphed my brain state into transcendental mode. My grey cells are having a party.

tigaseren
09-30-2006, 11:04 PM
I don't remember any rule rhymes that are not already listed, but I do remember the list of 'helping verbs' I had to memorize to the tune of "America, America"
am is are was were being been been have has had do does did, shall will should could, may might and can, may might must can and would.
(some repeated to get the tune right) :)

Medievalist
09-30-2006, 11:54 PM
I will confess to bringing in songs from School House Rock to play in undergrad comp and ESL classes.

They work. A lot of the rhymes for practical things -- like the months of the year and the number of days in them -- are medieval and, while we do have them in mss., they've been preserved orally.

I think that's totally cool.

allion
10-01-2006, 03:10 AM
"Conjunction junction, what's your function?"
"Hooking up words, and phrases, and clauses."

Works for me!

Karen

Bufty
10-01-2006, 03:26 PM
How on earth does one remember that? It doesn't rhyme - what makes one remember it?

And out of curiosity, how did it work for anyone? What was solved by learning that?

ETA - Okay, got it. It's a memory - for infants and taught with a picture of a toy steam engine -right? :flag:


"Conjunction junction, what's your function?"
"Hooking up words, and phrases, and clauses."

Works for me!

Karen

CaroGirl
10-01-2006, 07:20 PM
How on earth does one remember that? It doesn't rhyme - what makes one remember it?

And out of curiosity, how did it work for anyone? What was solved by learning that?

ETA - Okay, got it. It's a memory - for infants and taught with a picture of a toy steam engine -right? :flag:
LOL! It's a tune. The words are set to a memorable song and a cartoon that came out in the seventies on American television to help kids remember some basic grammar and other American facts (like how a bill becomes a law).

All the lyrics are here: http://www.schoolhouserock.tv/Conjunction.html

I remember it; it was one of my favourites.

Bibsy
10-01-2006, 11:52 PM
A professor I had in college used the word RAVEN to remember the difference between affect and effect: Remember, Affect = Verb, Effect = Noun. Of course, it has one of those annoying exceptions in that effect can also be a verb when used to mean "to effect a change", but the noun form does seem to get mixed up a lot with affect.

And on the fun world of pronouncing final letters in French, it opens up a whole new can of worms if you're a classical singer. Final vowels that you wouldn't pronounce in spoken French are often given a sound when sung if there's a note on them.

Bibsy
10-01-2006, 11:58 PM
Oh, and I just remembered another one I got from the same professor: Remember that there's "a rat" in "separate"

Bk_30
10-02-2006, 08:16 AM
that's how I remember therapist..a friend had a sweatshirt that had a teddybear printed on it and the caption "hug therapist" every time I saw it I read "hug the rapist" and would bust out laughing..another sign my brain just isn't quite normal.

Soccer Mom
10-02-2006, 08:21 AM
that's how I remember therapist..a friend had a sweatshirt that had a teddybear printed on it and the caption "hug therapist" every time I saw it I read "hug the rapist" and would bust out laughing..another sign my brain just isn't quite normal.

LOL. Your brain isn't normal and that's why we love you around here--you and that darn sockmonster you brought with you.

I LOVED schoolhouse rock and own the entire thing on DVD. Get me drunk and I'll sing the "I'm just a Bill" song at the drop of a hat. I loved the Interjection song to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus. Genius.

Trust us, Bufty. THe songs worked.

Medievalist
10-02-2006, 08:53 AM
Am now off to look for the DVD; had no idea there was one.

Thanks

DamaNegra
10-02-2006, 10:33 AM
Although I have been told that my native language is the most difficult language in the world to learn...

I've been told that over and over again, but I find it the easiest language to learn in the world. May be just me.

Scribhneoir
10-02-2006, 10:56 PM
Am now off to look for the DVD; had no idea there was one.

Thanks

Ooh, yes. I own Schoolhouse Rock on DVD. I bought it for myself and didn't even pretend to have children. It's a blast from the past and they're still fun to watch.

So yes, Bufty, the songs worked. I remember having to write out the Preamble to the Constitution on a test in my high school civics class. You could tell when a student hit that question because of the humming. As 12th graders we were long past Schoolhouse Rock days, but we could still sing the Preamble.

AnneMarble
10-08-2006, 03:59 AM
This one came from a teacher in first or second grade. It isn't a cute rhyme or whatever, but it helped me remember "to" and "too" when I was a kid. And eventually I no longer had to use it:
"Where are you going?" "I am going to the store." "I want to go, too."

Also, this one helped me learn its versus it's, something a lot of people have trouble with:
What is the cat doing? It's chasing its tail.
:e2cat:

Hey, whatever works. :D

SeanDSchaffer
10-08-2006, 05:27 AM
A couple rules that my Step-Dad told me when I was a kid, that he in turn learned in school:

1.) The way he learned the difference in spelling for the word 'Principal' versus 'Principle':
"The School Principal is a Prince, and he's your Pal."

2.) The spelling exercise for the word 'Breakfast' went:
"You eat your breakfast in the morning then you break fast for school."

Pop learned a lot of those in Elementary School, and told me quite a few of them. Sadly, these are the only ones I remember very well.