“How To Write Good” by Frank L. Visco [1986]

  1. Avoid Alliteration. Always. “Random; Rants; Reviews; Raves; Rigged; Raves” Does blog categories count?
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. “I don’t know if I do this.”
  3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.) “Wha’!?”
  4. Employ the vernacular. “I think this might be the only thing I do right.”
  5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc. “UX vs User Experience – You choose.”
  6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary. “I had to Google Parenthetical” *Blush*
  7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive. “I do this when I break Rule #17”
  8. Contractions aren’t necessary. “I hope I do not use too many contractions.”
  9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos. “Awesomesauce is the shizzle.”
  10. One should never generalize. “GUILTY!” Just broke rule #18
  11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” (I hate quotes) “Except for rule #4 – This might be the only thing I do right.”
  12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches. “Guilty as sin!” – Just broke Rule #3
  13. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous. “I am a superfluous, colourful, weird, designer person!”
  14. Profanity sucks. “Shit.”
  15. Be more or less specific. “Kinda makes sense.”
  16. Understatement is always best. “The English are quite good at this.”
  17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement. “Americana baby.”
  18. One word sentences? Eliminate. “Meh.”
  19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake. “It is the only way to explain myself. It is like painting a picture.”
  20. The passive voice is to be avoided. The Tale of an Epic Fail” = Fail supreme.
  21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms. “Well you are now guilty of breaking rule #4 & #8”
  22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed. “That is just chocolate-box.”
  23. Who needs rhetorical questions? “Does sarcastic people not need rhetorical questions?”

I think I should take some writing lessons, if I want to continue spamming you. Frank stay away from the internet – There be grammar-dragons!


3 thoughts on ““How To Write Good” by Frank L. Visco [1986]

  1. bertus says:

    So join now, ’cause at the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too, we teach you that there’s more to life than just being really, really, really good looking. Right kids?

    • missfitss says:

      *Giggles* “What is this? A center for ants? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read… if they can’t even fit inside the building?”
      – Derek Zoolander

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