The Gleek's Guide to Style

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By: Michael Eisinger

After a crushing defeat at regionals nobody in New Directions had the heart to take a look at their third place trophy. However, one day Finn finally studied the team's weak-looking trophy and he noticed something odd. Upon closer inspection Finn saw a couple corners of paper sticking out of the base. Interested by this he carefully took apart the trophy. Wrapped tightly within the trophy's confines he found a mysteriously geeky text. After he showed it to his fellow Glee club members, they decided that not only should they translate this text but they should give a free copy to everyone at McKinley High to prove to their peers once and for all that Glee kids are cool and do have style after all. For this reason they unanimously agreed to name this new text "A Gleek's Guide To Style."


I
Elementary Rules of Usage

4. Place a comma before a conjunction introducing an independent clause.

Although Sue Sylvester would argue that there are worse things than forgetting to put a comma before a conjunction (e.g., hepatitis, kidney stones, or having to look at Mr. Schuester), it is still important not forget to use a comma before conjunctions such as "and," "but," "or," "nor," "for," "so," or "yet".

Sue: Boobs McGee, you're demoted to the bottom of the pyramid, so when it collapses, your exploding sandbags will keep everyone safe from injury.

Notice how Coach Sylvester prefaces her conjunction “so” with a comma.

8. Use a dash to set off an abrupt break or interruption and to announce a long appositive or summary.

Sometimes a dramatic pause or break can intensify what is happening in your writing or speech, even if you have nothing important to say.

Coach Beiste: I'm the captain of the U.S.S. Kick Ass—not the U.S.S. Back Talk.

Although Coach Beiste’s statement makes little to no sense, adding the dash adds an air of intensity to her anger.

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II
Elementary Principles of Composition

14. Use the active voice.

C it like Sue. Sue always knows she is queen of the hill at McKinley High and shows it when she talks. She is never afraid to be direct and right to the point, never afraid of her own amazingness.

Sue: I'm all about finding a freakish depressed kid and showing them what winning's all about.

Sue’s use of active voice better suits what she is trying to say.

15. Put statements in positive form.

Although the jocks, geeks, nerds and losers rarely have anything to agree on, they all agree that the kids who are negative deserve to be tossed in the dumpster first. Sing as many show tunes as you want, a negative kid at the party is as popular as herpes. Although herpes is incurable, there is a cure for being negative.

Negative: Positive:
I’m not a slut. Quinn: I'm the president of the celibacy club.
Sue: Will I'm not going to do this. Even your breath stinks of mediocrity. I want to have your babies.

Being positive not only clarifies what you are trying to say it will save you from relentless hazing.

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16. Use definite, specific, concrete language.

Be bold! Nobody likes a wuss. Say what you want to say and move on, we only have a five minute break between classes!

Boring: Bold:
Kurt: She changes her look faster than Britt changes sexual partners. Brit is a slut. Or: She changes her clothes a lot.
Tina: My mom won't even let me watch Twilight. She says she thinks Kristen Stewart seems like a bitch. Kristen Stewart is a bitch.
Bryan: You can’t feed a child sheet music, Will. I suppose you could, but they'd be dead in a month. Children can’t live on sheet music or they will die.
Puck: Girl, you got more curves than a Nissan ad. Sleep with me.
Brittany: I don't know how to turn on a computer. I’m stupid.
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III
A Few Matters of Form

Colloquialisms.

If you decide to use a colloquialism or slang word, don’t make yourself look dumb by adding quote marks. All you accomplish by doing this is appearing like a pompous ass who thinks that he is part of some elite group of smart people. This also applies to conversations between friends. The use of air quotes does not make you seem more intelligent, it does the opposite.

Exclamations.

Use your exclamation marks sparingly. Exclamations should not be used on simple or lame statements. Remember, polish a turd and it’s still a turd.

The dog crossed the road! The dog crossed the road.

If you are amazed by the fact that a dog crossed the road, you may be Brittany’s soul mate. Clearly an exclamation mark is not necessary. A better use for the exclamation mark would be if you were to exclaim:

I’m gonna cut that bitch!
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IV
Words and Expressions
Commonly Misused

Auger. Augur.

Sue would like to remind the undereducated masses at McKinley High that the previously mentioned words mean two completely different things. Auger is a tool that is used to drill holes in ice, wood, or the ground. This differs from augur which means to predict or foretell. When put into a sentence the difference becomes clear:

I want to auger a big hole and throw Will Shuester in it so I can bury him alive.

Vs.

I augur that I will dig a big hole and throw Will Shuester in it so I can bury him alive.

Big difference.

Irregardless.

Hold onto your pencil protectors gleeks...this isn’t a real word. Instead, this is the illegitimate child of the words irrespective and regardless. Although used in American speech this word should not be used when writing.

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Its. It’s.

Its is the possessive form, e.g. The school cut its coffee budget.

Vs.

It’s which means it is, e.g. It’s about time people realized how awesome I am.

Use the wrong one and you will likely sound like one of Brittany’s affirmations of stupidity.

Accept. Except.

One means to receive willingly, while the other means to exclude. For example:

Sue accepts that she is not only the best cheerleading coach in all of history but generally just an amazing person.

Vs.

After taking a vote the staff agreed that everyone was allowed to come to the staff retreat except for Sue.

i.e. vs. e.g.

In Latin i.e. means “that is,” not to be mistaken with e.g. which in Latin means “for example.”

Alright.

To put it simply this is not a word. Instead you should use “all right.”

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V
An Approach to Style

2. Write in a way that comes naturally.

After a thorough proofreading by Coach Sylvester, she demanded that we correct this section. Originally we had written that you should write naturally in a way that seems normal to you, but to not assume that your piece of writing will come without flaws. Sue disagrees totally. She says that the flaw we mentioned could simply be that the student is too stupid to write and in such cases should have all writing privileges revoked indefinitely.

10. Use orthodox spelling.

Be sure to spell your words as they were meant to be spelled. Every gleek knows that unless you are text messaging or writing notes in class formal writing does not use new generation spellings such as u for you, luv for love, or r for are.

14. Avoid fancy words.

Avoid using words that will sound pretentious or intelligent. Even if it is part of your native vocabulary, the reader must not know that you have a vocabulary above that of a middle school student. This is not meant to belittle your intelligence, but to prevent confusion amongst your Cro-Magnon-like peers. Make sure to really dumb down your vocabulary in order to appease the uneducated masses.

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