January 21, 2011

Rules for Writers

If you enjoy writing, you'll enjoy these. If you don't enjoy writing, it may be because you're not very good at it, so keep reading anyway - you may pick up a hint or trick that will improve your grasp of the written English language.

By the way, if you are offended by that last remark because it applies to you, you may, as always, feel free to file a complaint by commenting below or by clicking the Complaint Department box on the Used Diaper Salesman home page. We at The Used Diaper Salesman take your overly-sensitive feelings seriously and guarantee that all complaints will be ignored within 7 to 10 business days. Thank you for your patronage.

Now on with the show.

  1. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. That is something up with which you should not put. Unless your name is Yoda, in which case we will not argue with you about syntax because you have a light saber.
  2. Verbs must agrees with their subjects.
  3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
  4. Avoid cliches like the plague. They're old hat.
  5. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  6. Also, always avoid annoyingly abundant alliteration.
  7. Be more or less specific.
  8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
  9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive extra redundancies.
  10. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
  11. No sentence fragments.
  12. Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.
  13. Don't use no double negatives.
  14. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  15. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  16. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  17. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary.
  18. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
  19. Kill all exclamation points!!!
  20. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  21. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas.
  22. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit when its not needed.
  23. One should NEVER generalize.
  24. Your responsible for using the correct tense and word form in you're work.
  25. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
  26. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  27. Who needs rhetorical questions?
  28. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  29. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  30. Always checj for spellng errors beforee submiting your work.
There you have it. I don't know about you, but I learned a few things today. The cool thing about writing, however, is that you can reserve the right to cheerfully break any of these rules any time it serves your purpose. If you haven't noticed already, I do so on a pretty regular basis.

I'm no great writer, nor am I an officer on the grammar police force, so please don't take this as a lecture; I'm just here to have some fun. Further, you may not care about writing in the first place or may have been offended by the first paragraph above, in which case you probably stopped reading at that point and won't know that I called you a Sucka-Poopy right here at the end of this post. But if you've stuck with me to the end, I hope this has helped those of you who are grammatically challenged. You know who you are.

Thank's for you're time.


  1. Uh oh. I think you just crossed the line. You have officially become a WRITER -- not just someone who writes...a WRITER. They are different creatures. You are now officially HOOKED because you just wrote something you WANTED to write, not caring what others think or want to read. You've just written your HEART. That's what distinguishes a WRITER and someone who writes.

    And if you get what I'm writing, then you know it's true.

  2. A talented light saber (pen, typewriter, keyboard, whatever ...), you have.