Saturday, March 27, 2010

HOW TO WRITE GOOD


by Frank L. Visco

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?

4 opinionated prattle:

Stan said...

Which one of my blog postings are you referring to? Half those terms were not taught in English when I went to school. What kind of wood is "infinitive", and why can't you split it? I bet my log splitter would whack it in two! Someone once said that "writing is like painting a house, you should liberally spread as much paint as you can to insure the flaws are well hidden". Damm, now there is a rule that states I cannot use profanity! That is an attention getter when you want to make a point! The only rule that I can imagine in what I write that is not listed and I am guilty of is "never abuse a comma". I love commas!

Stan said...

Plumma, you really should watch the video that Shana posted, start the download and walk away. It is 8 minutes long but very well worth the watch and turn up the volume so you can listen to the spectators. Fabulous, nature flick.

jd plumma said...

I actually watched it, but failed to comment over distractions.
I, also, just clicked "play" on the viewer and watched it's entirety in eight minutes - total. must be Windows 7 there.....I DESIGNED THAT! They MUST be listening!

Stan said...

I thought you had a part in designer Windows 7! Planning on getting me a second lap top, since mine has seen to be taken over and I will never get it back. guess I should get it early so I can learn Windows 7!

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