William Safire’s Rules for Writers

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  • Remember to never split an infinitive.

 

  • The passive voice should never be used.

 

  • Do not put statements in the negative form.

 

  • Verbs have to agree with their subjects.

 

  • 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 by rereading and editing.

 

  • A writer must not shift your point of view.

 

  • And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)

 

  • Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!

 

  • Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.

 

  • Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.

 

  • If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

 

  • Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.

 

  • Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

 

  • 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.

 

 

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