Thursday, May 2, 2013

Words for Final Exam Week, No.

Simple Rules

  1. Do not put statements in the negative form.
  2. Remember to never split an infinitive.
  3. And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
  4. It is incumbent on one to avoid archaisms.
  5. The passive voice should never be used.
  6. Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
  7. Proofread care-fully to see if you words out.
  8. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
  9. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
  10. Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
  11. A writer must not shift your point of view.
  12. De-accession euphemisms.
  13. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  14. Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.
  15. Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
  16. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
  17. Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  18. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
  19. Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
  20. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
  21. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
  22. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
  23. Always pick on the correct idiom.
  24. The adverb always follows the verb.
  25. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives.
—William Safire (1929-2009), Nixon speechwriter, Pulitzer winner and ferocious defender of the language, from “Great Rules of Writing,” in his New York Times column, 1979  
(Value-added: Safire talks with Jon Stewart about political language in 2008.)

• Editorial Comment: Find your own voice, but write for your professor.

Yesterday’s WORD: Did you miss yesterday’s WORDs from poet Sylvia Plath on writing, guts and self-doubt? Click here.

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