O si villi, si ergo, fortibus es in ero.
Et tu, brute.
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?
Religious Studies Program
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0135
Phone: 703-231-7617 Fax: 703-231-6367
Last updated 95/03/20