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Monday, April 4, 2011

Meditating on Mondays

Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

~William Safire, "Great Rules of Writing"


There are some hard and fast rules of writing that writers generally adhere to but sometimes we break the rules and something magical happens.

What are some general rules you stick to when writing? And do you have suggestions/rules for aspiring writers?


  1. A few of my suggestions: Know your homonyms (cite, sight, site or there, their, they're); know when to use "your" and "you're"; know the difference between singular and plural possession ('s or s'). "It's" is only used as a contraction for "it is" or "it has"; otherwise, use "its" (no apostrophe).

  2. Thank you. Those are some great suggestions.


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