Being helpful

We word nerds all have our pet hates when it comes to grammar, spelling, punctuation and, well, (the misuse of) words. For what it’s worth, we can’t help it. My mother-­in­-law is an artist, paints lovely water colours. I was admiring some of her recent paintings and browsing the attached captions, helpfully pointing out spelling mistakes and that the 1900s do not have an apostrophe. Helpfully, I swear. I’ve worked as an editor in the past and reviewing documents can also be a minefield of very cautious, every-word-is-sacred (hi CJ!) diplomacy. Others are not so diplomatic such as the hilarious Miss L from transcyberia (interesting place!). Anywho, to keep being helpful, here’s a great Top 10 list of things to do to write good (an oldie but a goodie!).


1.  Avoid alliteration. Always.

2.  Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3.  Avoid clichés like the plague. They are old hat.

4.  Comparisons are as bad as clichés.

5.  Be quite specific.

6.  Writers should never generalise.

Seven. Be consistent.

8.  Don’t be redundant. Don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

9.  Who needs rhetorical questions?

10. Exaggeration is a million times worse than understatement.