Great Rules for Writing
from William Safire in the New York Times
- Do not put statements in the negative form.
- Remember to never split an infinitive.
- And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
- It is incumbent on one to avoid archaisms.
- The passive voice should never be used.
- Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
- Proofread care-fully to see if you words out.
- If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
- Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
- Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
- A writer must not shift your point of view.
- De-accession euphemisms.
- If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
- Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.
- Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
- Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
- Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
- Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
- Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
- Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
- Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
- Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
- Always pick on the correct idiom.
- The adverb always follows the verb.
- Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives.