Did your favorite (or is it least favorite?) peeve make the list? If no, which one bugs you the most?
Should of instead of should have gets my vote.
The wonderfully handy WriteAtHome blog is a fabulous resource dedicated to all things writing. Check out the very cute poster below for tips to avoid some common pronoun mistakes (the image is clickable as well).
Way back when (all the way back in 1986!) a list appeared in Writer’s Digest that combined grammar rules with humor. Check it out.
Disagree with any of these? What would you add?
HOW TO WRITE GOOD
by Frank L. Visco
My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:
- Avoid alliteration. Always.
- Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
- Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
- Employ the vernacular.
- Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
- Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
- It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
- Contractions aren’t necessary.
- Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
- One should never generalize.
- Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
- Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
- Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
- Profanity sucks.
- Be more or less specific.
- Understatement is always best.
- Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
- One-word sentences? Eliminate.
- Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
- The passive voice is to be avoided.
- Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
- Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
- Who needs rhetorical questions?
Okay, I know LHS students are way too young to get that reference but I’m sure your parents are familiar with it.
For a more detailed (though certainly not as silly) guide to conjunctions, check out this great article. If you’ve ever wondered how to use FANBOYS, these are great introductions.