Thursday, July 26, 2007

Farmer's Almanac Writing Rules

From the 1975 "Old Farmer's Almanac", some writing rules

1. Remember to never split an infinitive.
2. Try not to think to use too many infinitives when you sit down to write.
3. The passive voice should never be used.
4. Do not put statements in the negative forms.
5. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
6. Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
7. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
8. A writer must not shift your point of view.
9. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
10. Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.
11. Don't overuse exclamation marks!
12. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of ten or more words, to their antecedents.
13. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
14. If any verb is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
15. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors.
16. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
17. Everyone should be careful to use a single pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
18. Always pick on the correct idiom.
19. The adverb always follows the verb.
20. Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.

1 comment:

georgia strait said...

Love it! I dug around and came up with something similar:

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