infoliterati

for librarians, researchers and educators interested in information management

rules for writeres (sic)

mosaic

For anyone who is interested in improving their writing, here is a handy set of guidelines.   I’m not sure of the original source but I came across it in a uni study guide back in 1999.  I know I am guilty of a number of these errors when I write – but I comfort myself with the adage that rules are made to be broken!  Enjoy!

  • Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.
  • Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  • And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
  • It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  • Avoid clichés like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
  • Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
  • Be more or less specific.
  • Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
  • Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  • No sentence fragments.
  • Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.
  • Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  • Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  • One should NEVER generalize.
  • Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
  • Don’t use no double negatives.
  • Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  • One-word sentences?  Eliminate.
  • Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  • The passive voice is to be ignored.
  • Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
  • Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
  • Kill all exclamation points!!!
  • Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  • Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas.
  • Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.
  • Eliminate quotations.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  • If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times:  Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
  • Puns are for children, not groan readers.
  • Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  • Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  • Who needs rhetorical questions?
  • Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

And finally …

  • Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Source:  Buchbinder, D., McGuire, A. & Macintyre, M. (eds), Literature, Language and Culture 111/112 Study Guide 1999:  Writing EveryDay Life, Perth:  Black Swan Press, 1999, pp. 45-46.

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2 comments on “rules for writeres (sic)

  1. bookgrrl
    June 14, 2013

    This list is full of lols and awesomeness 🙂

    • karen
      June 15, 2013

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them – I must admit every time I read it I have lols as well.

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This entry was posted on June 13, 2013 by in writing.
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