5 high school grammar rules to break (sometimes)

Diverting from dear old Mrs. Thompson’s linguistic edicts can spice up your prose. Be careful, though; no one wants to eat a horseradish sandwich.

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“Never use first or second person.”

“Never start a sentence with but or and.”

“Never end a sentence with a preposition.”

“And never, ever write a paragraph that’s only one sentence long.”

What’s the problem with these rules?

The problem is that they aren’t practiced by the best writers. Instead, experts break these rules to improve their writing.

I learned this by reading “Writing with Style” by John R. Trimble. If you’d like to become a better writer but haven’t read it yet, you should pick up a copy today.

Chapter 8 from “Writing with Style” is titled “Superstitions” and covers grammar rules that are taught in high school but that every good writer should learn to break.

Below is a collection of five of these rules that bloggers should learn to break in order to become better writers. (Note: Each rule includes a quote from “Writing with Style” and the accompanying page number in the second edition.)

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