Creating people's geographies
Calling all writers, readers and grammarians. Curt at CSTF features a great A Few Good Resources for Writers post, commenting on his favorite styles of writing and drawing upon Strunk and Orwell’s classic expositions on the topic—check it out. In poking around on my desktop to post some humorous Rules of Grammar to Curt, I discovered to my surprise that I hadn’t already posted them here previously as I thought I had, so here they are:
HUMOROUS GRAMMAR RULES
1. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.
2. Never use a preposition to end a sentence with. Winston Churchill, corrected on this error once, responded to the young man who corrected him by saying “Young man, that is the kind of impudence up with which I will not put!
3. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
6. Also, always 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 endlessly over and over again
10. No sentence fragments.
11. Contractions aren’t always necessary and shouldn’t be used to excess so don’t.
12. Foreign words and phrases are not always apropos.
13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous and can be excessive
14. All generalizations are bad.
15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
16. Don’t use no double negatives.
17. Avoid excessive use of ampersands & abbrevs., etc.
18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake (Unless they are as good as gold).
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 substituting a diminutive one would suffice.
23. Don’t overuse 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 and use it correctly with words’ that show possession.
27. Don’t use too many 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 billion times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly. Besides, hyperbole is always overdone, anyway.
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? However, what if there were no rhetorical questions?
33. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
34. Avoid “buzz-words”; such integrated transitional scenarios complicate simplistic matters
35. People don’t spell “a lot” correctly alot of the time.
36. Each person should use their possessive pronouns correctly
37. All grammar and spelling rules have exceptions (with a few exceptions)….Morgan’s Law.
38. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
39. The dash – a sometimes useful punctuation mark – can often be overused – even though it’s a helpful tool some of the time.
40. Proofread carefully to make sure you don’t repeat repeat any words.
41. In writing, it’s important to remember that dangling sentences.
Some of the above rules were originally part of or based on work by William Safire in his book Fumble-Rules.