Words for Writers

These are some of my all-time favourites from William Safire’s rules for writers.

(They make me laugh every time!)

Do not put statements in the negative form.
Proofread carefully 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.
And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!
Never use a preposition to end a sentence with.
Don’t verb nouns.
Don’t use no double negatives.
Don’t use commas, which aren’t necessary.
Its important to use apostrophe’s correctly.
Correct spelling is esential.
Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.

William Safire used to write a column in the New York Times, and one in the New York Times Magazine covering many issues regarding the English language and its usage. He was the first to coin the phrase “New, New World Order” in 1991, initially as a political comment on George W. Bush’s choice of words in referring to a “New World Order” in his 1991 State of the Union Message.

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