Event: Imperative Mood —  Aphorisms 

Subject: March forth!

Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative. -H.G. Wells

Today, March 4th, is the one day of the year that can be stated as a complete sentence.  By swapping out the word “fourth” and replacing it with its homophone “forth,” you create a punny imperative:  “MARCH FORTH!”

Of all days of the year, today is a day to assert yourself.  Be bossy.  Be commanding. Be bold.  Above all, write sentences in the imperative mood — the kind of sentences that command, beginning with a verb and implying a subject, as in, “[You] march forth!”

To become more familiar with the imperative mood, read the following examples of advice from sages from history:

Never ruin an apology with an excuse. -Ben Franklin

Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up. -Robert Frost

Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall. -William Shakespeare

Speak softly but carry a big stick. -Theodore Roosevelt

Doubt everything – find your own light! – Buddha

Just do it. -Nike

Recall, Retrieve, Recite, Ruminate, Reflect, Reason:  What is the imperative mood, and why should it come to mind on March Fourth?

Challenge – Write Imperatives and Be More Assertive!:  In the book The Best Advice in Six Words, Larry Smith has collected hundreds of the world’s shortest commencement addresses. This is a genre that requires both brevity of wit and rhetorical deftness.  Try your hand at writing your own.  Begin with the WHAT you want to say, stating it as clearly as possible in the imperative form.  Then, revise it, focusing on how you say it.

Eat good, feel good, be good.

Turn it off, and go outside.

Don’t let frustration hinder your creativity.

Address the elephant in the room.

Celebrate having the title of underdog. 

Run fast, run hard, run far.

Keep walking forward. Don’t look back.


Smith, Larry (Editor). The Best Advice in Six Words.  New York:  St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015.

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