Prose and Worse

Some places make the point better than others. I had the occasion to edit several papers mine, a friend’s and some others last week… We all should have read this first:

Selected Writing Rules

  • Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.
  • Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  • And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
  • It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  • Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat)
  • Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
  • Be more or less specific.
  • Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
  • Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  • No sentence fragments.
  • Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.
  • Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  • Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  • One should NEVER generalize.
  • Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  • Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  • One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  • Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  • The passive voice is to be ignored.
  • Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
  • Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
  • Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  • Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas.
  • Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  • If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times:
    Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
  • Puns are for children, not groan readers.
  • Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  • Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  • Who needs rhetorical questions?
  • Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  • Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  • 3 thoughts on “Prose and Worse

    1. Hi Nitin,

      Comments are always welcome…I liked the ‘girl in green’ template too, but it didn’t have the wordpress widgets or the dynamic sidebar. I sent WordPress many a request to enable widgets on that theme, but well I suppose that theme is supposed to be a journal style theme…. if it ever has widgets I will promptly switch back! 😀


    2. Hilarious..
      My opinion, again, was unasked but I really thought your previous template was excellent.
      And yes, the link on Free learning style was really helpful. (oops, just broke one of the “rules”)


    3. Hey Varna,
      Thanks for the link. I am writing my final research papers on Hindutva theology for my post graduation. and this link wud be of great help.


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