Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday Fun - What Not To Do

After searching the internet for today's Wednesday Fun I stumbled across this. I've never heard of Mr. Safire or his book. While this is not one of the contest books I thought you might enjoy it.

William Safire's Fumblerules (4 November 1979, New York Times)

William Safire's "Fumblerules":

• No sentence fragments.

• Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.

• A writer must not shift your point of view.

• Reserve the apostrophe for it’s proper use and omit it when its not needed.

• Write all adverbial forms correct.

• In their writing, everyone should make sure that their pronouns agree with its antecedent.

• Use the semicolon properly, use it between complete but related thoughts; and not between an independent clause and a mere phrase.

• Don’t use no double negatives.

• Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.

• If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: Resist hyperbole.

• If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

• Avoid commas, that are not necessary.

• Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

• Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

• And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.

• The passive voice should never be used.

• Writing carefully, dangling participles should be avoided.

• Unless you are quoting other people’s exclamations, kill all exclamation points!!!

• Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.

• Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

• Use parallel structure when you write and in speaking.

• You should just avoid confusing readers with misplaced modifiers.

• Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences—such as those of ten or more words—to their antecedents.

• Eschew dialect, irregardless.

• Remember to never split an infinitive.

• Take the bull by the hand and don’t mix metaphors.

• Don’t verb nouns.

• Always pick on the correct idiom.

• Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

• "Avoid overuse of ‘quotation "marks."’"

• Never use prepositions to end a sentence with.

• Last but not least, avoid clich├ęs like the plague.

Check out Wikipedia,William Safire if you would like to read more about the author. You can find the book at Amazon if you’re interested.

So, have you read his work before? Is this type of humor with a learning curve something you like?

WW’s and PD’s,


Bill Clark said...

Vicki, this is great!! I have been reading Safire for years - he writes a column on language in the Sunday New York Times Magazine - but had not heard of this book. What great (Wednesday) fun!

Jill James said...

Sounds like a fun book to read if you need your laugh for the day.

Vicki said...

Thanks Bill. I thouht it was pretty cool. I didn'i know about the column though.

Jill - I agree with you on the humor.

Erica Ridley said...

I'd seen this list before--it cracks me up!--but I had no idea about the column, either.

P.S. to V: saw the FTHRW newsletter yesterday--cool! =)