Save on office supplies at Amazon.


Good writers write good ... um, well ...

Writers cringe at poor grammar. Editors groan at improper usage of language or grammar. Publishers bemoan linguistical laziness and the all-too-frequent verbal faux pas.

Poor compositions may make us want to scream and shout and stomp our feet.

Of course, we all make mistakes, particularly in web writing. Maybe that’s the biggest peril of publishing without an editor. It’s sort of like walking across a tightrope without a net.

Sometimes we just need a good laugh, though, especially at ourselves.

Take a look at these rules of language, penned by Frank L. Visco and published in Writer’s Digest in June 1986.

My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:

  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 use more 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?

Maybe mechanics are more memorable when they make us merry.
Stomping Man - ClipArt ETC

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. You are also invited to join this writer's fan page, as well as the Chicago Etiquette Examiner, Madison Holidays Examiner, Equestrian Examiner,  Madison Equestrian Examiner, and Working in Words on Facebook.



  1. Love this list! I am guilty of so many!

  2. Ich lerne beim sex cams sehr viele Boys kennen. The body of the handset provides the sound
    output and, presumably, input -- there's only one way of doing a job properly and it will be a girl.

    Here is my blog - sex chat


Agree? Disagree? Have related insights, ideas, or a story to share? Feel free to comment, and let Working in Words know you were here.