Joke 821

22 Jun




How To Write Good, by Frank L. Visco

My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:

  1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
  4. Employ the vernacular.
  5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  8. Contractions aren’t necessary.
  9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  10. One should never generalize.
  11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  13. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  14. Profanity sucks.
  15. Be more or less specific.
  16. Understatement is always best.
  17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  20. The passive voice is to be avoided.
  21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  23. Who needs rhetorical questions?


21 Responses to “Joke 821”

  1. slpmartin June 22, 2013 at 04:05 #

    What a delightful way to end my day…thanks for all the laughs.


  2. Terry June 22, 2013 at 04:36 #

    I enjoyed these, especially the one about the grammer


  3. Grannymar June 22, 2013 at 06:28 #

    Many a Brid between shelf and the till!


  4. Katharine Trauger June 22, 2013 at 06:45 #

    Ha ha and hello!
    Number 7 is my favorite, but all grammar is lovely to me, so for my first time back after a long, long absence, this was the perfect “dessert”. Thanks so much!



  5. viv blake June 22, 2013 at 07:06 #

    It’s cliché writing that I do to (sic) much of. And don’t get me started on apostrophe’s


  6. viveka June 22, 2013 at 11:10 #

    Love that last photo …. maybe they can sell me off the shelve too … with all my wrong spelling. Regarding the jokes … didn’t understand half of the words, never seen them before neither, but I will survive.
    Have a nice weekend.


  7. mairedubhtx June 22, 2013 at 13:28 #

    These grammar and spelling ones are the BEST!


  8. Al June 22, 2013 at 14:36 #

    Fantastic. It really “opened my eyes” (in a manner of speaking). Wily wisdom well written. This will go down as one of the great posts of this or any other time. C’est magnifique! Damn! This is the kind of writing & information that I wish I was more capable of.


  9. Janet Williams June 22, 2013 at 17:21 #

    I’m 100% positive that Tilly (who’s the creator of “The Laughing Housewife”) is the most amazing, brilliant, awesome, exceptionally talented blogger who should be put in charge of the WordPress Daily Prompt service. Don’t you think so?


  10. SchmidleysScribbling June 22, 2013 at 17:52 #

    This guy is an idiot. I love illiteration. And the passive voice is all I can do sometimes. And I love a bargain. My parrots can’t spell anyway. Dianne


  11. bluebee June 23, 2013 at 02:55 #



  12. Janie Jones June 23, 2013 at 14:08 #

    Number 23 was especially poignant as I just finished grading a rough draft exercise.

    Why do students feel the need to pepper their essays with questions? Do they think their point is that obvious? If it is, why do they need to write about it? Do they think they can avoid taking a stand? Do they think they can push their job of thinking an issue through onto the reader? Do they think it is more clever? I’d really like to ask a particular student, how many questions in a single paragraph do you think is enough? Or why am I grading this? Isn’t the grade you deserve patently obvious?


    • The Laughing Housewife June 24, 2013 at 06:29 #


      I read through this briefly last night when I was tired and I didn’t get the joke at first. Glad I read it again this morning. How clever are you?

      😀 😀 😀


  13. Janet Williams June 23, 2013 at 22:29 #

    You have to believe this: my vicar (Church of England) is called Ian Bird and I’ve sent the image to the parish office.


  14. Perfecting Motherhood June 24, 2013 at 06:04 #

    Even if that daycare was Jack & Jill, I’m not sure I’d put my kid in there. Did you see the Jack & Jill in Puss in Boots? Scary!


  15. benzeknees June 24, 2013 at 18:20 #



I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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