Rules for Writers

Known as the master wordsmith, William Safire died last week.  He was a former speech writer for Richard Nixon, and author of the New York Times column, “On Language”

Some of his clever “rules for writers” included:

  1. If any word is improper at the end of sentence, a linking verb is.
  2. Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
  3. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
  4. Proof read carefully to see if you words out.
  5. Remember to never split an infinitive.
  6. Do not put statements in the negative form.
  7. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
  8. The passive voice should never be used.
  9. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
  10. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
  11. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
  12. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *