William Safire’s Rules for Writers


  • 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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