Rules for improving your English

I had a quick read through The Irish Independent and I came across an interesting article on William Safire’s rules for improving your English. William Safire writes columns for the New York Times and in one of those columns he drew up a list of rules for writers. Each rule is self-contradictory, That is, it violates the thing it tells the reader to avoid. Here are some that have stood the test of time.

Rules for improving your English!

  1. A preposition is something never to end a sentence with.
  2. Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
  3. Don’t use no double negatives.
  4. Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn’t
  5. Reserve the apostrophe for its proper use and omit it when its not needed
  6. Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
  7. Avoid commas, that are not necessary
  8. Don’t over use exclamation marks!!!
  9. Hyphenate between sy-?llables and avoid un-necessary hyphens.
  10. Write all adverbial forms correct.
  11. Don’t use contractions in formal writing.
  12. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  13. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
  14. Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  15. “Avoid overuse of ‘quotation “marks.””
  16. Avoid clichés like the plague; They’re old hat; seek viable alternatives
  17. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
  18. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words then necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  19. Be more or less specific.
  20. capitalise every sentence and remember always end it with a full stop