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Originally the "Tech Support Pits" were reports of the funniest tech support incidents, but over the years the
column gradually shifted to answering tech support questions put forward by the readers of the Dear
Webby Humor Letter.
This collection of computer and web advice was started partly because readers demanded an archive, and partly
because some questions were asked again and again. Each page has a different day's Tech Support Pits column.
Tech Support Pits column from Dear Webby's Humor Letter of
06/12/04: Writing rules
Tech Support Pits:
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one time you had some writing rules that showed by
example what not to do. Do you still have them?
Here they are:
Some helpful rules for better writing:
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. Comparisons are as bad as clichs.
7. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
8. Be more or less specific.
9. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually)
10. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
11. No sentence fragments.
12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than
necessary; it's highly superfluous.
14. One should NEVER generalize.
15. Don't use no double negatives.
16. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
17. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
18. The passive voice is to be ignored.
19. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
20. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
21. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said,
"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
22. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times:
Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it
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