Recently I was asked about the rules I follow when I attempt to write. Humm! I’d never been made to feel like an expert before, so I thought I’d strike the iron when the sun shines, err, I mean making hay when it’s hot. I’ll list down all the “proverbial” rules I am conscious of when I attempt to write:
1. Convince your readers with brevity. I never use more words, phrases, sentences, or other linguistic elements and parts of speech than I, myself, can actually and precisely use or employ when expressing myself or otherwise giving voice to what I may or may not be thinking when I am trying to say how many words I should use or not use while using words.
2. And I never begin a sentence with a conjunction.
3. To begin a sentence with an infinitive is incorrect.
4. I avoid clichés; they are old chestnuts.
5. I avoid annoying alliterations that are also abrasive and awkward.
6. And the secret of funny writing? …timing! Let me explain once more, I never drag a joke to such an extent that it outlives its lifetime and is easily forgotten. Did you get it? Wait! I’ll say that again…(read rule no.7 again)
7. Employing foreign words and phrases ad infinitum hovers on ad nauseam.
8. Starting a sentence with a hanging gerund is one of my favourite “no-nos”.
9. I use my commas wisely lest I’m labeled forgive the pun “rebel without a clause”.
10. I hate using single word sentences. Period!
11. I avoid using quotations that digress from the subject. As Ralph Waldo Emerson is said to have once remarked, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
12. Puns are entertaining for kids, or the children-at-heart. For “groan” readers, they are “pun”ishing.
13. I use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.
14. It’s my blog. So I make the rules. And I rewrite them with every new entry. So my own suggestion, never follow any rules. Just blame it on your creativity.