- Remember to never split an infinitive.
- The passive voice should never be used.
- Do not put statements in the negative form.
- Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
- Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
- If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
- A writer must not shift your point of view.
- And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)
- Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!
- Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more, to their antecedents.
- Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
- If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
- Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
- Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
- Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
- Always pick on the correct idiom.
- The adverb always follows the verb.
- Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
- Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
- Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
- Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
- Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
Monday, September 28, 2009
William Safire's rules for writing
In memory of William Safire, I'm reposting his famous rules for writing: