Writing Rules You May Not Know


Writing Rules by Lynn Carroll, Admin. Asst. of Creative Writing Institute

Using slang and insider colloquialisms are fine when writing to friends and family but using them in proper writing will not reflect well on your education or professional image. Here are a few writing rules and examples:

1. “I got lots of presents this year,” or “I see you got a promotion.”
Avoid the use of “get” and “got” when you can. A better way to phrase it would be, “I received a number of presents this year,” and “I see you received a promotion.”
2. By the same token, don’t use the word ‘guy’ where ‘man,’ ‘fellow’ or ‘gentleman’ would be a better choice.
3. Use specific nouns and avoid vague descriptions. Instead of “I feel bad,” say “I’m depressed.”
Feeling bad could mean any number of things but everyone knows what depression is.
4. Avoid being pretentious. Don’t run to the Thesaurus every time you need a word or you may end up describing your toothache as a “functional disorder of my lateral incisor.”
5. And lastly, don’t be accused of pleonasm. Is that a new word for you? It means don’t use more words than necessary, as in:

a. Strategically relocate = steal
b. Redeploy to the rear = retreat

The above is a small sample of what you’ll learn at Creative Writing Institute. Sharpen your skills with our Punctuation Review Course. For more great tips, get The Writer’s Choice Newsletter. Never fear. We won’t spam you or sell your information.

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3 thoughts on “Writing Rules You May Not Know

  1. Good post, Deborah. I am in the process right now of creating a writing skills class for everyone – I will probably create it as a Webinar. I like this information – it rings true for all writers of all genres!

    Like

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