Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Was's and commas and adverbs . . . Oh, my!


As I write and edit, I've become quite conscious of grammar usage, the overuse of adverbs, the all-too-frequent use of "was" and a dozen other things most of us do that we really know NOT to do. I even had some POV (point of view) problems. Oh, and the proper insertion of commas—some included where they didn't belong, and others omitted where they did belong. I’m really bad at commas.

So, I thought I'd share a little tongue-in-cheek list that ties right in with this subject. I think you'll enjoy it and chuckle as much as I did when I found it.

Here we go: Rules for Editing

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. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

17. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

18. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

19. The passive voice is to be ignored.

20. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.

21. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

22. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

23. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas.

24. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

25. 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.

26. Puns are for children, not groan readers.

27. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

28. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

29. Who needs rhetorical questions?

30. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

And the last one...

31. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.


  1. Love this post! I chuckled out loud at a few of them. Great list!

  2. Peggy Blann PhiferMarch 11, 2015 at 9:00 AM

    Glad you enjoyed it. :) It really tickled my funny bone too. Glad I saved it--and found it again.
    Thanks for stopping by, Sally

  3. Brilliant! I've shared on my FB page

  4. Peggy Blann PhiferMarch 16, 2015 at 5:35 AM

    Thank you so much, Deb, for the visit and the share. Blessings.