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"
Ahk! I'll admit it, I'm a massive failure when it comes to the conjunction. They're just so shiny. And pretty. And fun. Pretty sure I do one, two, and three on an EXTREMELY regular basis. It's so dumb because I can pick them up immediately in other people's writing but not my own. What's with that?ReplyDelete
I think we're all too close to our own stuff to really see it's flaws easily. But that's the fun of critiquing for each other! :)Delete
Hilarious, and true, and I break them all. It's the fixing I spend my time on. :-)ReplyDelete
YES! Revisions. Awesome. Editing is my happy place :)Delete
I break number 2 all the time.
Me too! That was the one that made me *Gulp*. But I use it intentionally a lot...Delete
I think the question that separates good writing from bad is "When do you break these and why?" :)ReplyDelete
Yes! I was just saying to EJ that I break number 2 all the time - on purpose. It's how some of my characters talk. But the trick is in making it useful to the reader, rather than just running on the paragraph.Delete
But I break #2 all the time! :pReplyDelete
By the way, I was planning to show this post to my English teacher, but there was a substitute today.Delete
#4 is a perpetual pitfall for me ;-) what can I say - I'm enamored of yummy polysyllabic words. My solution is to create a character within my stories who loves them as much as I do - then the blame falls squarely on his or her shoulders. Right?ReplyDelete
Those who think that they will get their desire position with out following cover letter I think it's almost impossible and it's not new in this modern era that a resume with cover letter is essential to apply and get the right position.ReplyDelete
Very nicely done!!ReplyDelete
My favorite of Safire's rules has always been:ReplyDelete
(I've got a button that says that.)
Hehehe. Love it! :-)ReplyDelete
Ha ha! I start sentences with conjunctions WAY too often, and have to cut them like crazy in edits.ReplyDelete