How to rite good

James R

Just this guy, you know?
Staff member
My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:
  1. Avoid alliteration always.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)
  4. Employ the vernacular.
  5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations etc.
  6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  8. Contractions aren't necessary.
  9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  10. One should never generalise.
  11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
  12. Comparisons are as bad as clich$$\acute{\text{e}}$$s.
  13. Don't be redundant. Don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
  14. Profanity sucks.
  15. Be more or less specific.
  16. Understatement is always best.
  17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  18. One word sentences? Eliminate.
  19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  20. The passive voice is to be avoided.
  21. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  22. Who needs rhetorical questions?
And a few more rules:
  1. It behooves you to avoid archaic expressions.
  2. Avoid archaeic spellings too.
  3. Don't repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.
  4. Don't use commas, that, are not, necessary.
  5. Do not use hyperbole; not one in a million can do it effectively.
  6. Never use a big word when a diminutive alternative would suffice.
  7. Subjects and verbs always has to agree.
  8. Placing a comma between subject and predicate, is not correct.
  9. Use yor spell chekker to avoid mispelings and to catch typographcial errers.
  10. Don't repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.
  11. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.
  12. Don't never use no double negatives.
  13. Proofread carefully to check whether you any words out.
  14. Make sure you use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  15. Eschew obfuscation.
  16. No sentence fragments.
  17. Don't indulge in sesquipedalian lexicological constructions.
  18. A writer must not shift your point of view.
  19. Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
  20. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
  21. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
  22. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  23. Everyone should be careful to use singular pronouns with singular nouns in their writing.
  24. Always pick on the correct idiom.
  25. The adverb always follows the verb.
  26. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
  27. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be eliminated by rereading and editing.
  28. And always be sure to finish what

Sources: First list - Frank L. Visco, originally published in the June 1986 issue of Writers' digest. Second list - adapted from William Safire's Rules for Writers.
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A few more in the same vein...

29. Sarcasm should always be used when you want to sound really sincere.
30. Similes are as useless as a chocolate kettle.
31. Remember that when using Latin, condemnant quod non intellegunt.