Purported Safire commentary

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Fri Oct 4 19:50:11 UTC 2002

The following is from URL http://bmrc.berkeley.edu/people/smoot/long.html

I have no idea whether any of the following is relevant to Mr. Safire, but
since we love discussing him on this list, here goes:

William Safire's Rules for Writers
Remember to never split an infinitive. The passive voice should never be
used. Do not put statements in the negative form. Verbs have to agree with
their subjects. Proofread carefully to see if you words out. If you reread
your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be
avoided by rereading and editing. A writer must not shift your point of view.
And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition
is a terrible word to end a sentence with.) Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10
or more words, to their antecedents. Writing carefully, dangling participles
must be avoided. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking
verb is. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors. Avoid trendy
locutions that sound flaky. Everyone should be careful to use a singular
pronoun with singular nouns in their writing. Always pick on the correct
idiom. The adverb always follows the verb. Last but not least, avoid cliches
like the plague; seek viable alternatives.

              - James A. Landau

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