Sunday, June 01, 2008

Writing Rules

I've recently "met" a wonderful woman online. Her name is Irene Fulton (Reenie) and I do hope you take some time to check out her web site.

We both read List of the Day and she wrote the following in a comment. It tickled me so much that I wrote her and asked if I could use it in a post some time. She responded with:

"I'm glad you enjoyed the grammar list. After I read your profile I now understand your attention to details that might involve future litigation, but if there are copyright issues with the grammar list, I'd better start packing my bags to flee to some obscure third world country. :)"

So, without further ado, here is a list of grammar rules that we should have learned in high school, but it never hurts to refresh our memories.

For writing styles, be sure and follow these rules:

  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, 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 generalize.
  15. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
  16. Don’t use no double negatives.
  17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  20. The passive voice is to be ignored.
  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. Kill all exclamation points!!!!!
  24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  25. Understatement is always the absolute 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 Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  28. 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.
  29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
  30. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  31. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  32. Who needs rhetorical questions?
  33. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.


Ginni Dee said...

OMG, I love it!! May I copy it?? I might use it on my blog someday too. If it's okay. Don't you just love LOTD!! It's one of my favorite blogs.

Have a great Sunday!

Sally said...

Ginni - Absolutely! I don't own it either. Knock yourself out - LOL!

Glenda said...

This was just too good! Wouldn't the list make a great grammar test for high-schoolers? Wonder how many could pass it in this day and age? LOL!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Most excellent!!!! yes I did that.

Sally said...

Hi Glenda - It would make a better test for high schoolers. I'd be willing to bet not many could pass.

Tanna - You're such a rebel. LOL

Sally said...

P.S. to Glenda - I just re-read your comment where you did say high school. Duh! It's early - what can I say?

Reenie said...

I usually pop in here every day, so was startled and delighted to see my name pop up when I popped in.

I can take zero-zip credit for the *writing rules*, but I think they are a splendid find. Enjoy!

Oh, and do stop by Reenie's Reach. Sometimes I go for long stretches with no posts and then I have a manic day and post a lot. xoxo

Sally said...

Careful you don't "pop" a button there Reenie! I'm so glad you found these rules and posted them in that comment. They are just spot-on.

Barry Foy said...

I thought of two more rules:

A semicolon should be followed by an independent clause; and nothing but.

Think twice before incorporating long, itemized lists into running text. Used inappropriately, they can be 1) tiresome, 2) repetitive, 3) overly precious, 4) distracting, 5) hard to follow, 6) pretentious, and 7) generally irritating.

Sally said...

Barry - LMAO!! Good one!

sobryrt said...

a fantastic list. so funny. ;*>

Ottawa Gardener said...

Great list. I have to refer back to it regularly!