Il Mestiere de Scrivere


  1. Never use foreign language. It’s pretentious
  2. The stuff in the front has to HAS to agree with their subjects.
  3. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  4. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
  5. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  6. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat!!)
  7. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
  8. Be more or less specific.
  9. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
  10. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  11. No sentence fragments. Ever.
  12. Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.
  13. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  14. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  15. One should NEVER generalize.
  16. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  17. Don’t use no double negatives.
  18. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  19. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  20. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  21. The passive voice is to be ignored.
  22. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however, should be enclosed in commas.
  23. Never use a grandiosity in verbiage when a diminutive word would suffice.
  24. Kill all exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!
  25. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  26. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth shaking ideas.
  27. Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.
  28. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once penned, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  29. 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.
  30. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
  31. Always be fixin’ to go over yonder ya’ll, to avoid colloquialisms.
  32. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  33. Who needs rhetorical questions?
  34. Exaggeration is a 17-billion times worse than understatement.
  35. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.


  1. #36 Never tell writer jokes if you are a writer yourself.

    Man #1: Nice to meet you too! What do you do, by the way?
    Man#2: I’m a writer.
    Man#1: Yeah? Which restaurant?

    #37 Never say never.

  2. Well Damn! You’ve been reading my blog! I’m sure I broke most of those rules with my last post. Broke #19 with the first sentence. Possibly more, but I’m not sure if ‘WACHAAAA’ is really a foreign word …

  3. but J’adore using phrases such as de riguer! (Which I did in a fashion story recently). Also, if you count by the word for newspapers, contractions are space saving, as an old timey editor taught me years ago. Just make sure they are correct ie It’s this way.
    Meanwhile may I add CAPITALIZATION? Hate when I get press releases with those.
    Otherwise perfect tips. Grazie.

  4. You always raise the bar just by laying down the rules.

    How you doing Ms. Kendrick?

  5. I found the list clever. I just have one question, do you adhere to all of them? Is this your own creation? Oh, sorry that makes 2 questions.

And now, you may opine your ass off...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s