1. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Important Rules of Writing!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Crazy Ivan, Jun 20, 2007.

    Here are several very important but often forgotten rules of English:

    1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

    2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

    3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)

    4. Employ the vernacular.

    5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

    6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

    7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

    8. Contractions aren't necessary.

    9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

    10. One should never generalize.

    11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

    12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

    13. Don't be redundant; don't more use words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.

    14. Profanity sucks.

    15. Be more or less specific.

    16. Understatement is always best.

    17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

    18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

    19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

    20. The passive voice is to be avoided.

    21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

    22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

    23. Who needs rhetorical questions?

    24. While a transcendent vocabulary is laudable, one must nevertheless keep incessant surveillance against such loquacious, effusive, voluble verbosity that the calculated objective of communication becomes ensconced in obscurity.

    25. In a sentence, the nouns has to match the verbs.

    26. Don't use no double negatives.

    27. In writing, few things are, so to speak, more infuriating, than, say, commas, at least when there are too many of them, or when they should be, say, semicolons.

    28. Proofread your work, so you don't leave some out or forget to finish

    29. Run-on sentences are really bad because the reader saturates and what you really should be doing is using commas and semicolons and even periods to break the sentence up into more digestible chunks.

    30. To have been using excessively complex verb constructions, is to have been bopping the literary baloney.

    31. A friend I spoken with recently told me he been forgetting his helper verbs.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Chuckle. This is priceless! Thanks, Ivan
     
  3. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Rules are meant to be broken, kid. :cool:
     
  4. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Here are better rules, quoted from a different writer's board. Her name is Katrina on OneOfUs:
     
  5. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Continued:
     
  6. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    As I've said many times before, use the active, not passive voice.

    Good luck on using these true-and-tried methods.
     
  7. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Um...
    This was a joke topic.
    *siiigh*
     
  8. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Also, if you want more of this type of humor, try it out here:
    Tina's Humor Archives

    EDIT: Whoops, sorry for the DP. >.>
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ivan,

    It was a joke topic, but each caveat did illustrate a violation of the rule being touted in reverse.

    Setting aside the humor aspect, both yours and Eyes' contributions point out some important guidelines of style.

    My only issue with Eyes' portion is that the attribution of the quote is a bit vague. It acknowledges another source, but without enough information to be sure whether that source wrote it herself or lifted it from another source - a potential inadvertent plagiarism issue.
     
  10. Nadala
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    Nadala Banned

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    Well joke or not, on the subject of writing rules a must have book on the rules of writing is make your words work by Gary Provost. It's a real writers bible
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not familiar with that one. I use Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style" and "The Little, Brown Handbook" for the most part (US English).

    The Penguin Guide to Punctuation appears to be a major reference for UK English usage. Anyone have other references, and for which English dialect are they primarily written?
     
  12. blubttrfl
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    blubttrfl Member

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    i'll have to agree. many books we read break these rules like crazy and somehow, it works. so if the writer knows what they're doing, most of these rules can be broken without the reader even noticing because somehow, it just works...
    now, for novice writers (like me :p) we have to stick to the rules, which i can never bring myself to do hehehhe
    (i read this list once before, but it was used for students writing research papers not for creative writing)
     
  13. Sturdy
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    Sturdy New Member

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    Letter to a Triple-Threat Grammarian by George Feinstein

    Dear sir, you never past me in grammar because you was prejudice but I got this here athaletic scholarship anyway. Well, the other day I finely get to writing the rule's down so as I can always study it if they ever slip my mind.

    1. Each pronoun with their antecedent.

    2. Just between you and I, case is important.

    3. Verbs has to agree with their subject.

    4. Watch out for the irregular verbs which has crope into our language.

    5. Don't use no double negatives.

    6. A writer musn't shift your point of view.

    7. When dangling, don't use participles.

    8. Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.

    9. Don't write a run-on sentence you got to punctuate it.

    10. About sentence fragments.

    11. In letter themes reports articles and stuff like that we use commas to keep a string of items apart.

    12. Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.

    13. Its important to use apostrophe's right.

    14. Don't abbev.

    15. In my opinion, I think that an author when he is writing shouldn't get into the habit of making use of too many unecessary words that he does not really need in order to put his message across.

    16. Check to see if you any words out.

    17. In the case of a business letter, check it in terms of jargon.

    18. About repetition, the repetition of a word might be real effective repetition - take, for instance, Abraham Lincoln.

    19. As far as incomplete constructions, they are wrong.

    20. Last but not the least, lay off cliches.
     
  14. trailer trash
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    trailer trash Senior Member

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    About Contractions

    Contractions



    Contractions are use most often in contemporary writing, and are purely a stylistic choice. Most purists shun there usage, and in business writing and some other types of correspondence contractions would not be appropriate at all. But, in the successful realm of the New Novelist of today contractions have become more widely accepted and can be found in almost every work of fiction.

    For those of you who want to come abreast of the new times in contemporary composition I have listed bellow all the contractions you’ll need to know to get the job done.

    are not - aren’t
    has not - hasn’t
    I am - I’m
    can not - can’t
    have not - haven’t
    I had - I’d
    could have - could’ve
    he would - he’d
    I have - I’ve
    did not - didn’t
    he will - he’ll
    I will - I’ll
    let us - let’s
    she is - she’s
    they are - they’re
    might not - mightn’t
    should not - shouldn’t
    they have - they’ve
    ought not - oughtn’t
    there is - there’s
    we will - we’ll
    she would - she’d
    they would - they’d
    we have - we’ve
    she will - she’ll
    they will - they’ll
    we are - we’re
    were not - weren’t
    you had - you’d
    what is - what’s
    you will - you’ll
    who is - who’s
    you are - you’re
    would not - wouldn’t
    he has - he’s
    would have - would’ve
    she has - she’s
    you should - you’d
    shall not - shan’t

    Contractions can add a flavor of authenticity to certain stories that otherwise would be lost without their usage. You must achieve a balance, being consistent in their usage. And since stories can be written from a diversity of points-of-view, the choice to use contractions will depend more heavily on the characters than on the narrator. A story told from a more narrative style and consisting of very little dialogue can still make use of contractions.

    Elmo

    PS: As you can see if you've been watching I have had a hell of a time formating this post.
    PPS: What is fiction that boarders on realism without profanity?
     
  15. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    Crazy Ivan, was it meant to be funny or serious?? If serious then most of those rules (or at least the ones I understood), I disagree with. I also think it unfair to make rules for writing as anything can work, it just depends on how it is done.

    If it was meant to be funny then I don't get it. :p
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's actually the work of a guy named Victor L. Visco, just pasted here sans citation... and it's totally tongue-in-cheek, as each numbered item breaks its own rule... yes, it's sposta be funny... but maybe more 'silly' than funny?
     

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