William Safire was born 17 December 1929, and died 27 September 2009
- Adapt your style, if you wish, to admit the colour of slang or freshness of neologism, but hang tough on clarity, precision, structure, grace.
- Never assume the obvious is true.
- Knowing how things work is the basis for appreciation, and is thus a source of civilised delight.
- I think we all have a need to know what we do not need to know.
- Cast aside any column about two subjects. It means the pundit chickened out on the hard decision about what to write about that day.
- A book should have an intellectual shape and a heft that comes with dealing with a primary subject.
- Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care.
16 Humorous Pieces of Advice On Writing
- No sentence fragments.
- It behooves us to avoid archaisms.
- Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
- Don’t use no double negatives.
- If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, “Resist hyperbole!”
- Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
- Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
- Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
- Writing carefully, dangling participles should not be used.
- Kill all exclamation points!!!
- Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
- Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
- Take the bull by the hand and don’t mix metaphors.
- Don’t verb nouns.
- Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
- Last, but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.
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Safire was an American author, columnist, journalist, and presidential speech writer. He wrote Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage, On Language and How Not to Write: The Essential Misrules of Grammar.
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