Thursday, October 8, 2009

So long, William

I've been meaning to put this out for a week, but sick kids put everything else on hold. William Safire passed away last week, and it simply didn't seem right that the popular press focused on things like his political opinions instead of his greatest contribution to the English-speaking world: William Safire's Rules of Witing. Without further ado:

1. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
5. Avoid clich├ęs like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
6. Be more or less specific.
7. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
8. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
9. No sentence fragments.
10. Don’t use no double negatives.
11. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out or mispeld something.
12. Eschew obfuscation.

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