Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Nine Rules of Writing Well

1.  Do not put statements in the negative form.

2.  And don't start sentences with a conjunction.

3.  If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

4.  Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do. 

5.  Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.

6.  De-accession euphemisms.

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

8.  Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

9.  Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

~William Safire, "Great Rules of Writing"


  1. I have to work had at not repeating. I agree that re-reading and editing can cure this problem.

  2. HAHA! I have read this before and I think I even added it to my writing quotes on my blog as well. It's very funny!

    AubrieAnne @

  3. This is great! The format makes the advice memorable AND practical. Thanks!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  4. Great reminders. I'm always on the look out for them.

    Nice to meet you. I look forward to more of your posts. :)