Monday, November 9, 2009

Writing Wisdom from a Master

"Great Rules of Writing"

Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that
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.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~William Safire


  1. Too freaking funny, that Bill Safire is. Funny ideas about writing he has, yeah they're really funny.;-)

  2. Lord...I almost started looking up words, trying to figure out if I violated some of these rules.

    *hangs head*

  3. "Trendy locutions" and "flaky" in the same sentence. Gads!

  4. I'm passing this along to every high school senior whom I've ever helped write a college admission essay. :)