Rules For Writers

I found this in my online travels on the WritersJokes web site and thought it was worth sharing. Enjoy!

  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. Be more or less specific.
  7. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
  8. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  9. No sentence fragments.
  10. Don’t use no double negatives.
  11. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out or mispeld something.
  12. Eschew obfuscation.


  1. It’s my policy to eschew writing rules, but if rules are this enjoyable I will not avoid them like the plague anymore. This is a nice find you chose to afflict us with. :)

  2. Excellent! :)

  3. I love it. It really tickled me, thanks Jodee!

  4. I would not never be against praising you for your posting of that wonderfully humorous piece of drivel. I found it to be sporadically ubiquitous in every way possible, as well as in some ways that are not. ;)

  5. Splitting an infinitive, as it occurs in modern English, is actually impossible, grammatically speaking. In Old to Middle English infinitives were ‘two words’ so the rule makes sense. As now it’s all English teacher hocus pocus.

  6. Winston Churchill had the best answer to the rule that one should never split an infinitive. He said, “that is the type of nonsense with which I will not up put.”

    (Didn’t he get a Nobel Prize for literature? Good enough for me.)

  7. So interesting! Playing with the words while making jokes.

  8. Jodee,

    Having worked as an English teacher, I tried to instill in my students a knowledge of these actual rules, but always made sure to remind them that you could buck them for stylistic purposes. I, for one, start sentence with conjunctions all the time in my blog pieces, but part of the point when I write it is that I’m breaking a writing rule.

    Learn the rules, then throw them away. But don’t skip that first part.

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