Oct 26, 2007

An open letter to aspiring writers and full-fledged hacks

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Lose the adjectives. I'm not kidding. You don't even use good adjectives. You use bad adjectives. Crappy adjectives. Trite adjectives. Forget about the breathtaking scenery, exciting events and fabulous restaurants.

You already know how I feel about the serial comma so I won't get into that, but what's with the parentheses? You use too many of them. If you write three paragraphs with four sets of parentheses in them, you've gone too far. Rewrite.

Here in America, commas and periods appear within quotation marks. Semicolons and colons appear outside quotation marks. That's just the way it is. Get used to it. Put a dash, question mark, or exclamation point within quotation marks when the punctuation applies to the quotation itself and outside when it applies to the whole sentence. And those ironic quotation marks? Stop it. Just stop it.

Thank you for your time.

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