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Readers’ corner

Rules of English Usage: sent in by reader John Bohnert. 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 cliches like the plague. They’re old hat.

6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.

7. Be more or less specific.

8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

10. No sentence fragments.

11. Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.

12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it is highly superfluous.

14. One should never generalize.

15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

16. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

17. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

18. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

19. The passive voice is to be ignored.

20. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary.

21. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

22. Use words correctly irregardless of how others use them.

23. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth

earth-shaking ideas.

24. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”

25. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.

26. Puns are for children, not groan readers.

27. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

28. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

29. Who needs rhetorical questions?

30. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

31. Avoid putting apostrophe’s in plural’s.

Red Hat chili: This comes from Don Baumgart of Nevada City. “According to Downieville’s Mountain Messenger, in a driving blizzard atop Sierra County’s Yuba Pass the annual Chili Cookoff took place March 19. The people’s award went to Sierra County’s Red Hat Society chapter’s first-time contestants, who entered “Red Hot Red Hat Chili” or RH2.” I was telling our new editor I’m a Red Hatter, and he told me his mother is one, also. Uh, OK … that made me feel old! (Maybe because I am old?) Beats the alternative!

ooo

Dixie Redfearn can be reached at 477-4238 or by email at dixier@theunion.com, or by fax at 477-4292.


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