Grammar Dalek: fifteen rules for better writing

My name is Salvageable, and I am a Grammar Dalek.

Most of the blogs I read are very literate, interesting as well as well-written. Even the best writers, though, sometimes make mistakes. When writers confuse its with it’s or their with there, I am ready to shoot first and ask questions later. Rather than punishing writers as they deserve, I am prepared to offer a second chance. Socrates and Confucius both believed that people break the rules because they don’t know the rules. Because people naturally want to be happy, they will do the right thing if they know what is right to do. As a public service, therefore, I am pleased to offer fifteen rules for better writing. I do not claim that this list is a new idea—many of these have been floating around for decades. I offer this list, though, in the hopes that these rules will be followed and I will not have to exterminate you.

  • Don’t use no double negatives.
  • Be careful to use apostrophe’s correctly.
  • Avoid repetitive redundancy.
  • Also avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read and make you sound foolish
  • Make sure that each verb and each pronoun agree with their subjects or antecedents.
  • Don’t use commas, which aren’t necessary.
  • Don’t abbrev.
  • A writer should try to maintain a consistent style, especially when composing a list.
  • Eschew obfuscation.
  • About sentence fragments. Don’t.
  • Join clauses good like a conjunctive should.
  • Check to see if you any words out.
  • After checking your grammar, check your math.
  • Last but not least, avoid dog-tired clichés like the plague.

I sincerely hope that all these rules will be obeyed, and the universe will become a more harmonious and coherent place. (By the way, these are examples of “fumblerules,” many more of which can be found when searching the internet.) J.

6 thoughts on “Grammar Dalek: fifteen rules for better writing

  1. I have similar struggles as Wally Fry. I was an exceptional student in school. I had decent grammar. After school I forgot some grammar rules and I’ll admit my proofreading is terrible. I appreciate grammar snobs, because they help me with these struggles. At the same time, I get irritated by them. I find some assume they are better and smarter. I whole heartily that in that subject they are. At the same time, nothing ever changes if you aren’t willing to break rules once in awhile. If you are ever irritated by my grammar, I invite you to correct me. As long as you do it in a respectful manner.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ba ha ha ha ha! That was awesome!

    You know, I actually possess a pretty fair command of the English language, and reasonably understand the rule of English grammar. I am, however, the worst proofreader in the history of the entire world. I can read and re read something I have written and overlook the same mistake a dozen times.

    Since I do most of my writing at around 4 in the morning, and am usually behind I just finally quit worrying about it. If I let my editor(wife) reads stuff, she will catch it. But I can’t do that at 4 in the morning running behind. So, let the chips fall where they may LOL.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Wally. I don’t think anyone can copy-edit (or proofread) his or her own writing. We know what we meant, so we don’t notice if the fingers typed something different. I’ll bet if you read something your wife wrote, you’d find the mistakes she overlooked too. J.

      Liked by 1 person

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