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48 ways to better writing

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It’s Friday, ok? Thanks to whoever sent this to us:

1. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.

4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

5. Avoid clichés like the plague. They’re old hat.

6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.

7. Be more or less specific.

8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

10. No sentence fragments.

11. Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.

12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

14. One should never generalise.

15. Comparisons are just as bad as clichés.

16. Don’t use no double negatives never.

17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

20. Be careful to use the rite homonym.

21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.

22. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

23. DO NOT use exclamation points and all caps to emphasise!!!

24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

25. Understatement is always the absolutely best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas.

26. Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.

27. Eliminate quotations. As the American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “I hate quotations.”

28. Resist hyperbole: not one writer in a million can use it correctly.

29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.

30. Go the extra mile to avoid colloquialisms.

31. If you should spot a double-entendre in your writing, whip it out immediately.

32. Who needs rhetorical questions?

33. Avoid run on sentences because they represent poor writing not to mention the confusion they can cause to the reader and of course the difficulty in making it clear exactly what precise concept, meaning, or truth you are trying to convey and besides which it may make your writing sound like some sentence in a contract written by some crazed attorney (who may have been drunk when he wrote it for all we know) and may easily contain irrelevant and useless pieces of information so let’s restate this rule that run on sentences should never be used in good writing.

34. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

35. The passive voice should never be used.

36. Do not put statements in the negative form.

37. A writer must not shift your point of view.

38. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.

39. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.

40. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

41. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.

42. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

43. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.

44. Always pick on the correct idiom.

45. The adverb always follows the verb.

47. Check the consistency of your numbering.

48. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Image by Texas T’s on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons licence.