A fumblerule is a rule of language or linguistic style, humorously written in such a way that it breaks this rule.[1] Fumblerules are a form of self-reference.

The science editor George L. Trigg published a list of such rules in 1979.[2] The term fumblerules was coined in a list of such rules compiled by William Safire on Sunday, 4 November 1979,[3][4] in his column "On Language" in the New York Times. Safire later authored a book titled Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage, which was reprinted in 2005 as How Not to Write: The Essential Misrules of Grammar.



See also


  1. ^ Dennis Joseph Enright (1983). A Mania for Sentences . Chatto & Windus/Hogarth Press.
  2. ^ Trigg, George L. (1979-03-19). "GRAMMAR". Physical Review Letters. American Physical Society (APS). 42 (12): 747–748. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.42.747 . ISSN 0031-9007 .
  3. ^ alt.usage.english.org's Humorous Rules for Writing
  4. ^ Safire, William (1979-11-04). "On Language; The Fumblerules of Grammar" . New York Times. p. SM4.

External links

Categories: Word games | Self-reference | Literature stubs

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