The Edmondson Blog

John Hewit And Sarah Drew


On the 31st of July 1718, John Hewit and Sarah Drew were in a field near Stanton Harcourt in Oxfordshire. They were rustic lovers; he about twenty-five years of age, and she a comely maiden a little younger. They were betrothed, and had, on that very morning, obtained the consent of the parents on both sides to their marriage, which was to take place on the following week. The poet, Alexander Pope, was a guest at Stanton Harcourt at the time; and he recorded the tragic incident of the day in the following words:
Between two and three o’clock in the afternoon, the clouds grew black, and such a storm of thunder and lightning ensued that all the labourers made the best of their way to what shelter the trees and hedges afforded. Sarah was frightened, and fell down in a swoon on a heap of barley; John, who never separated from her, having raked together two or three heaps the better to secure her from the storm. Immediately after was heard so loud a crash as if the heavens had split asunder. Every one was now solicitous for his neighbour, and they called to one another throughout the field.

No answer being returned to those who called to the lovers, they stepped to the place where they lay. They perceived the barley all in a smoke, and then spied the faithful pair; John with one arm about Sarah’s neck, and the other held over her, as if to screen her from the lightning. They were struck dead, and stiffened in this tender posture. Sarah’s left eye was injured, and there appeared a black spot on her breast. Her lover was blackened all over; not the least sign of life was found in either. Attended by their melancholy companions, they were conveyed to the town, and next day were interred in Stanton Harcourt churchyard.
Pope wrote the following epitaph which was engraved on a stone in the parish church of Stanton Harcourt:
Near this place lie the bodies
An industrious young man
And virtuous young maiden of this parish;
Who, being at harvest work (with several others),
Were in one instant killed by lightning,
The last day of July, 1718.
Think not by rigorous judgment seized
A pair so faithful could expire;
Victims so pure, Heaven saw well pleased.
And snatched them in eternal fire.
Live well, and fear no sudden fate;
When God calls victims to the grave,
Alike ’tis justice soon or late,
Mercy alike to kill or save.
Virtue unmoved can hear the call,
And face the flash that melts the ball.

Another guest at Stanton Harcourt was Lady Mary Wortley Montagu who recorded in her diary that Pope had joked with her that he had also composed a somewhat less respectful epitaph:
Here lye two poor Lovers
Who had the mishap,
Tho very chaste people
Died of the Clap.

Meanwhile, Round Our Neighbours House...

We went to our neighbours, Roy and Kim, for supper last night. While the ladies were out of the room Roy boasted about how quick witted he was.

The previous night he had been invited out for a night with the boys.

He told Kim that he would be home by midnight, "I promise!"

Well, the hours passed and the beers went down way too easily. Eventually, about 3 a.m., a bit loaded, Roy headed for home.

Just as he got in the door, the cuckoo clock in the hallway started up and
cuckooed three times. Quickly, realizing Kim would probably wake up, he cuckooed another nine times.

He was really proud of himself for coming up with such a quick-witted solution, even though he was totally smashed - three cookoos from the clock plus nine cookoos from Roy = 12 cookoos = midnight! I agreed how clever he had been and congratulated him.

Anyway, we sat down for supper and half way through Kim asked Roy what time had he got in.

Quick as a flash he replied, "MIDNIGHT!"

She didn't seem angry in the least.

Supper continued its pleasant way, until Kim said, "We need a new cuckoo clock."

"Why is that?"

"Well, last night it cuckooed three times, then said, "Oh shit." It then cuckooed four more times, cleared its throat, cuckooed another three times, giggled, cuckooed twice more, and then tripped over the coffee table and farted."

Mystical Insight

When told the reason for British Summer Time, the Indian mystic said, "Only a Government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket."

More Old School Reports

More teacher comments on old school reports, as reported in The Daily Telegraph Letters to the Editor:
  • My teenage son's English report consisted of three words: "This brooding presence."
  • "He sometimes catches one's train of thought; usually by scrambling into the guard's van."
  • My wife, a teacher, received this endorsement as a pupil: "Henry Ford once said history is bunk. Yours most certainly in."
  • A Latin report: "This boy would do well on the land - if properly spread."
  • "Effortless progress, in every sense of the word."
  • My vocabulary was increased by the sole word "Slothful" in my music report.
  • Art: "John gets himself messy."
  • A chemistry master's report: "I believe he plays the oboe."
  • My school report said that I had a "don't care attitude" - and do you know what...?
  • One of the earliest school reports that my wife received described her as "a chatterbox and fidget-bottom." Nothing has changed in the intervening 60 years.

The Perfect Crime In Thirty Seconds

Rules For Barbeques

We'll be entering the BBQ season in a few months. Therefore it is important to refresh our memories on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity.

When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:
  1. The woman buys the food.
  2. The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes pudding.
  3. The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill, glass of fine wine in hand, chatting to other men on the subtleties and techniques of barbeques.
  4. The woman remains outside the compulsory three metre exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman.
  6. The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
  7. The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another bottle of wine while he flips the meat.
  9. The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.
  10. After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
  11. Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.
  12. The man asks the woman how she enjoyed her night off and, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women!

Old School Reports

Teacher comments from old school reports, as reported in The Daily Telegraph Letters to the Editor:
  • My chemistry teacher wrote "lazy but cheerful" in my report. My father was unimpressed.
  • My home economics report said "Liz does not make full use of her mixing bowl." How useful is that?
  • My report from Cheltenham Ladies' College in 1951 stated that "she is indolent, late and badly behaved." The next year things had improved slightly, for "with more sincere ambition and higher moral standards she should do well." I am still trying to improve my morals.
  • My PE master wrote: "Rugby: he has useful speed when he runs in the right direction." Thereafter I preferred cross-country running in the winter term.
  • My piano teacher wrote: "Paul plays very well, considering he does not have a piano."
  • On the verge of puberty, I was most encouraged to lean from my woodwork teacher's report that "He holds a hammer like a woman."
  • One of my son's reports ran: "The tropical forests are safe when he enters the woodwork room, for his projects are small and progress is slow.
  • My brother's once said: "Continues to amuse himself, but sadly no longer us."
  • My English teacher wrote in my report for 1964: "The stick and carrot must be very much in evidence before this particular donkey decides to exert himself."
  • One of my masters once reported: "French is a foreign language to him."

Meanwhile, In A Land Far, Far Away...

Demands of a Chinese kidnapper and the release negotiations.
"I have three demands or the boy gets it."

Negotiators carefully assess the situation from next door.

The head negotiator makes contact.

Negotiations begin.

Negotiations concluded.

The kidnapper makes his get-away.

Tasteful Birthday Card From My Mad Sis

Mary had a little lamb,
She tied it to a pylon.
10,000 volts shot up its bum
And turned its wool to nylon.

Horatio Bottomley

Horatio Bottomley was born in Bethnal Green on this day in 1860.

He was an MP an all round crook (hmm – sounds familiar).

He entered the Parliament in 1906, was re-elected in 1910, but thrown out for bankruptcy in 1912. In 1918 he was re-elected.

On one occasion he said to the Lord Chancellor, "I shouldn't have been surprised to hear that you had been made Archbishop of Canterbury."

"If I had," replied the Lord Chancellor, "I should have invited you to come to my installation."

"That's damned nice of you."

"Not at all. I should have needed a crook."

He became a famous and popular figure for his patriotic and political activities. He was also well known for numerous Court appearances in libel and other cases, in which he frequently acted for himself, often with success. He was on one occasion described by Mr Justice Henry Hawkins as the ablest advocate Hawkins had ever listened to, as a result of which the judge offered Bottomley his wig.

Bottomley created the John Bull Victory Bond Club, a forerunner of Premium Bonds, purportedly as a mechanism for small savers to lend money to the Government, receiving prizes rather than interest. Again a combination of fraud and mismanagement sank the scheme in 1921. He was convicted of fraud, sentenced to seven years jail and expelled from Parliament.

A famous story tells that the prison chaplain of Wormwood Scrubs found him making mail sacks and asked him "Bottomley! Sewing?"

To which Bottomlry replied "No, reaping".

Useless but interesting additional fact.

In May 1931, whilst directing his latest play Cavalcade at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Noel Coward, lost a black leather wallet.

Fifty years later, during pre-production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, American actor Henderson Forsythe was rummaging in a storage cupboard when a broken tuba fell on his head. Inside the tuba he found Noel Coward's missing wallet. Curiously, Coward's wallet contained a small photograph of Bottomley.

This Too Shall Pass - Machine Version

When It Might Just Be Acceptable To Say, "Oh! Bugger!"

Meanwhile, In The Local Kebab Shop...

Customer: A dead mouse and chips. please.
Proprietor: We don't sell dead mice!
Customer: Oh, sorry - but there're are two in the window.

May The Farce Be With You

An unemployed man who was thrown out of a JobCentre after refusing to remove his hood has received an official apology after explaining he was following the ways of the Force. Chris Jarvis of Southend, Essex (where else?), said he took up the Jedi faith last year as an excuse to wear hoods.

After he wrote and complained of his treatment, the JobCentre manager replied, "JobCentre Plus is committed to provide a customer service which embraces diversity and respects the customer's religion or belief."

So Now You Know

In 2000 the Clay Mathematics Institute stated seven Millennium Prize Problems, for which they offered a $1,000,000 prize for the first correct solution to each.

One of the problems was the Poincaré Conjecture, a theorem about the characterization of the three-dimensional sphere among three-dimensional manifolds. Originally posed by Henri Poincaré, the claim concerns a space that locally looks like ordinary three-dimensional space but is connected, finite in size, and lacks any boundary. The Poincaré Conjecture claims that if such a space has the additional property that each loop in the space can be continuously tightened to a point, then it is just a three-dimensional sphere.

After nearly a century of effort by mathematicians, in 2002 and 2003, the Russian Grigori Perelman sketched a proof of the conjecture. His work survived review and was confirmed in 2006. On 18th March 2010 Perelman was awarded the $1,000,000 Millennium Prize. The Poincaré Conjecture remains the only solved Millennium problem.

On December 22, 2006, the journal Science honored Perelman's proof of the Poincaré Conjecture as the scientific Breakthrough of the Year, the first time this had been bestowed in the area of mathematics.

Perelman was offered a Fields Medal, the top international award for mathemetics and equal in status to a Nobel Prize, for his proof, but he declined, saying, "... [the prize] was completely irrelevant for me. Everybody understood that if the proof is correct then no other recognition is needed."

Meanwhile, Down At The Creek...

Down at the creek on Hank's farm just outside Sarasota, he built a dam to make a lake and planted mango, orange and avocado trees.

The lake had been fixed up for swimming when it was built and had some picnic tables placed there in the shade of the fruit trees.

One evening he decided to go down to the dam to look it over and as he hadn't been there for a while, he grabbed a five gallon bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the dam, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee.

As he came closer he saw it was a bunch of young ladies skinny-dipping in his lake. He introduced himself to the ladies and they all went to the deep end to protect their modesty.

One of the ladies shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!"

He frowned and replied, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the lake naked." Holding the bucket up, he continued, "I'm here to feed the alligator."

Moral: Old men may walk slow, but they can still think fast.

How to Be Rich

In his book, How to Be Rich, J. Paul Getty gives the following useful and foolproof formula for success:
  1. Rise early.
  2. Work hard.
  3. Strike oil.

Classic Levi's Advert - Mr Boombastic

Times They Are A-Changin'

Back in the '60s we took acid to make the world look weird. Nowdays the world is weird and we take Prozac to make it look normal.

Meanwhile, Out On The Highway...

Headline News

A planned talk by BBC weather presenter Richard Angwin about the future of weather forecasting has been cancelled due to poor weather.
As reported in The Marlborough and Pewsey Gazette and Herald.

Things Your Mother Probably Wouldn’t Say To You

Eat your greens and I’ll buy you a motorbike.

Fetch me the scissors and hurry!

Sit a bit closer to the television – how can you see properly back there?

Yes, I used to play truant as well.

Leave all the lights on – it makes the house look so welcoming.

Please turn the music up so I can enjoy it as well.

Not Very Nice Things To Say

"A suicidal, silicone-breasted, bleached-blond, 40 year old mother of four, adulterous spawn of Hughie Green and a Bluebell Girl, with a dead boyfriend, an even deader career and a habit of being sick into her handbag at public parties." - Julie Burchill on the late Paula Yates (ex-wife of Bob Geldof and partner of the late INXS singer Michael Hutchence).

"His voice is something between bland and grandiose: blandoise perhaps." - Kenneth Tynan on Sir Ralph Richardson.

She went to a plastic surgeon and asked him to make her more like Bo Derek – he gave her a lobotomy." – Joan Rivers.

"A face to launch a thousand dredgers." – Jack de Manio about Glenda Jackson.

"Who picked your clothes – Stevie Wonder?" – Don Rickles to David Letterman.

"Arnold Schwartzernegger looks like a condom full of walnuts – Clive James.

"She has more chins than the Chinese telephone directory." – Joan Rivers about Elizabeth Taylor.

"It’s a new low for actresses when you have to wonder what’s between her ears instead of between her legs." – Katherine Hepburn about Sharon Stone.

Meanwhile, At The Village School...

A new family moved into our village a few months ago. They had moved out of the London suburbs where their son, Tommy, had been attending the local primary school.

Before the move, Tommy had not done at all well at arithmetic. His parents had tried everything - tutors, mentors, flash cards, special learning centres - in short, everything they could think of to help him cope with numbers

When they arrived in the village they enrolled him in the village Church of England Primary School. After the first day, little Tommy came home with a very serious look on his face. He didn't even kiss his mother hello. Instead, he went straight to his room and started studying.

Books and papers were spread out all over the room and Tommy was hard at work. His mother was amazed. She called him down to dinner.

To her shock, the minute he was done, he marched back to his room without a word, and in no time, he was back hitting the books as hard as before.

This went on for some time, day after day, while the mother tried to understand what made all the difference.

Finally, little Tommy brought home his report card. He quietly laid it on the table, went up to his room and hit the books. With great trepidation, His mum looked at it and to her great surprise, he had got an "A" in arithmetic. She could no longer hold her curiosity. She went to his room and said, "Tommy, what was it? Was it the teachers? Was it his new friends?"

Tommy looked at her and shook his head, "No."

"Well, then," she replied, "Was it the books, the discipline, the structure, the uniforms? WHAT WAS IT?"

Tommy looked at her and said, "Well, on the first day of school when I saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I knew they weren't fooling around."

More Things People Say

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat. - Alex Levine

I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap. - Bob Hope

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it. - W.C. Fields

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. - Groucho Marx

We could certainly slow the ageing process down if it had to work its way through Congress. - Will Rogers

Don't worry about avoiding temptation as you grow older, it will avoid you. - Winston Churchill

Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out. - Phyllis Diller

By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere. - Billy Crystal

Arkell v. Pressdram

The satyrical magazine, Private Eye, is published by Pressdram Limited. An unlikely piece of British legal history occurred in the case Arkell v. Pressdram in 1971.

Private Eye had published an artical accusing Mr Arkell of heavy-handed debt enforcement tactics. Mr Arkell's solicitor wrote to Private Eye:
We act for Mr Arkell who is Retail Credit Manager of Granada TV Rental Ltd. His attention has been drawn to an article appearing in the issue of Private Eye dated 9th April 1971 on page 4. The statements made about Mr Arkell are entirely untrue and clearly highly defamatory. We are therefore instructed to require from you immediately your proposals for dealing with the matter. Mr Arkell's first concern is that there should be a full retraction at the earliest possible date in Private Eye and he will also want his costs paid. His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply.
Private Eye replied:
We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr J. Arkell. We note that Mr Arkell's attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off.
Mr Arkell dropped the case. In the years since, the magazine would use this case as a euphemism for an obscene reply: for example, "We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram"; or, perhaps, "His reply was similar to that given to the plaintiff in Arkell v. Pressdram".

Meanwhile, As The Rector Was Saying In His Sermon...

Our rector was coming to the end of one of his Fire and Brimstone sermons. With great emphasis he said, "If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river."

With even greater emphasis, he continued, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river."

And then finally, shaking his fist in the air, he said, "And if I had all the whisky in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river."

With his sermon still ringing in the congregation's ears, he swept from the pulpit.

The curate stood very cautiously and announced, "To close, let us sing together hymn number 365, Shall We Gather at the River."

Jokes From Tommy Cooper

Two Aerials meet on a roof - fall in love - get married

The ceremony was rubbish but the reception was brilliant.


Man goes to the doctor with a strawberry growing out of his head.

The doc says, "I'll give you some cream to put on it."


"Doc, I can't stop singing the green green grass of home."

"That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome."

"Is it common?"

"It's not unusual."


A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet.

"My dog's cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him?"

"Well," says the vet, "let's have a look at him"

So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then checks his teeth.

Finally, he says, "I'm going to have to put him down."

"What? Because he's cross-eyed? "

"No, because he's really heavy"


"Doctor, I can't pronounce my F's, T's and H's."

"Well you can't say fairer than that then"


Two elephants walk off a cliff...... boom boom!


So I went to the dentist.

He said "Say Aaah."

I said "Why?"

He said "My dog's died."


So I got home, and the phone was ringing. I picked it up, and said, "Who's speaking please?"

And a voice said "You are."


So I rang up my local swimming baths. I said, "Is that the local swimming baths?"

He said, "It depends where you're calling from."


So I rang up a local building firm and said, "I want a skip outside my house."

He said, "I'm not stopping you."


Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. There are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them.

It's either my mum or my dad.

Or my older brother Colin.

Or my younger brother Ho-Cha-Chu.

But I think it's Colin.


So I was in my car, and I was driving along, and my boss rang up, and he
said, "You've been promoted."

And I swerved.

And then he rang up a second time and said, "You've been promoted again."

And I swerved again.

He rang up a third time and said, "You're managing director."

And I went into a tree.

And a policeman came up and said, "What happened to you?"

And I said, "I careered off the road."


Now, most dentists' chairs go up and down, don't they? The one I was in went back and forwards. I thought 'This is unusual'. And the dentist said to me 'Mr. Cooper, get out of the filing cabinet.'


So I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me "Can you give me a lift?"
I said "Sure, you look great, the world's your oyster, go for it."


Two cannibals eating a clown. One says to the other, "Does this taste funny to you?"

Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, and the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.


You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen; it said 'Parking Fine.' So that was nice.


A man walked into the doctors. The doctor said "I haven't seen you in a long time"
The man replied, "I know I've been ill"


A man walked into the doctors, he said "I've hurt my arm in several places" The doctor said, "well don't go to those places"


I had a ploughman's lunch the other day. He wasn't very happy.


I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.


I bought some HP sauce the other day. It's costing me 6p a month for the next 2 years.


Two blondes walk into a'd think at least one of them would have seen it.


Phone answering machine message - "...If you want to buy the hash key..."


I went to the butchers the other day and I bet him 50 quid that he couldn't reach the meat off the top shelf. He said, "No, the steaks are too high."


My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.


A man came round in hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, "Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!" The doctor replied, "I know you can't, I've cut your arms off".


I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a mussel.


Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly. They lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can't have your kayak and heat it.


Our ice cream man was found lying on the floor of his van covered
with hundreds and thousands. Police say that he topped himself.


Two fat blokes in a pub, one says to the other "Your round."
The other one says "So are you, you fat slob!"


Bored? I mean VERY bored? Well try this:
  1. Collect some dead flies from the office windowsills.
  2. Put them in the sun to dry for an hour or so.
  3. Once they are dry, pick up a pencil and paper... Let your imagination run free.
Here are a few examples...

Hat tip: Raymondo.

Meanwhile, Round Our Neighbours...

Rrriiiiinnnnggg, rrriiiinnnngg.


"Hi darling, this is Daddy. Is Mummy near the phone?"

"No, Daddy, she's upstairs in the bedroom with Uncle Paul."

After a brief pause Daddy says, "But darling, you haven't got an Uncle Paul."

"Oh yes I do, and he's upstairs in the bedroom with Mummy, right now."

Another brief pause.

"Oh, okay then, this is what I want you to do. Put the phone down on the table, run upstairs and knock on the bedroom door and shout to Mummy that Daddy's car just pulled into the drive."

"Okay, Daddy, just a minute."

A few minutes later the little girl comes back to the phone.

"I did it, Daddy."

"And what happened, darling?"

"Well, Mummy got all scared, jumped out of bed with no clothes on and ran around screaming. Then she tripped over the rug, hit her head on the dresser and now she isn't moving at all!"

"Oh my God!!! What about your Uncle Paul?"

He jumped out of the bed with no clothes on, too. He was all scared and he jumped out of the back window and into the swimming pool, but I suppose he didn't know that you took out the water last week to clean it. He hit his head on the bottom of the pool and I think he's dead."

Long Pause.

Longer Pause.

Even Longer Pause.

Then Daddy says, "Swimming pool? ..... Is this 01959 486573?"

"No, I think you have the wrong number........."

Things People Say

Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, "Lillian, you should have remained a virgin." - Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)

I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: "No good in a bed, but fine against a wall." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement. - Mark Twain

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible. - George Burns

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year. - Victor Borge

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. - Socrates

Funny Old World

True story. A plane was flying from Seattle to San Francisco. Unexpectedly, it was diverted to Sacramento along the way. The flight attendant explained that there would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted to get off the aircraft the plane would re-board in 50 minutes.

Everybody got off the plane except one lady who was blind. The man sat next to her could tell the lady was blind because her guide dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her throughout the entire flight.

He could also tell she had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached her, and calling her by name, said, "Kathy, we are in Sacramento for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?"

The blind lady said, "No thanks, but maybe Buddy would like to stretch his legs."

Picture this: All the people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a guide dog! The pilot was even wearing sunglasses. People scattered. They not only tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines!

Essential Writing Rules

Avoid cliches like the plague; give them a wide berth.

Do not be redundant; do not use more words to express an idea or concept than you really need to use.

All verbs has to agree with subjects. Always avoid annoying alliteration. Be specific, more or less.

Parenthetical remarks (however pertinent) are (almost certainly) superfluous.

Complete sentences only, please.

The passive voice is to be avoided.

Foreign words and phrases are de trop.

Delete commas, that are, not necessary.

One should never generalize.

Avoid ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

Analogies in writing are like pyjamas on a cat.

Never use a big word where a diminutive expression would suffice.

Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations."

A mixed metaphor, even one that flies like a bird, should be given its marching orders.

Who needs rhetorical questions?

Exaggeration is a million times worse than understatement.

Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog