6 things writers should NEVER do

Good writing these days is about breaking long-held guidelines of clarity and pushing the ‘evolution of language’ forward at breakneck pace. Here’s how.


Regular readers know that I have long been a linguistic purist, but today I offer some departures—a few common mistakes that scribes should ditch immediately:

1. Never have your subject and verb agree. The Old Guard insists that a plural verb form must follow a plural noun. This rigid thinking only serves to clarify your message. Ditch it.

2. Never match your pronoun to its antecedent. Confusion is essential to keeping your writing fresh. In short, keep the reader guessing.

3. Never look up words to make sure you have the meaning right. Coinages are the vanguardest optimotion in the langual optisphere. Creatify a modernated lexus, and you’ll be a head on the curb.

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4. Never pass up an opportunity to impress your readers with jargon and buzzwords. Readers love this. The more you can befuddle them, the more obvious it is that you are a “bleeding-edge thought leader.”

5. Never proofread your blog post or email before hitting publish or send. Most readers are idiots and won’t notice typos, misspellings, random capitalization, arbitrary punctuation, and missing words anyway. You have better things to do—like going out to lunch. (Bonus tip: Never pick up the check.)

6. Never believe things you read on April Fools’ Day. Enjoy the day.

Hey, what’s that on your shirt…

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