Tag Archives: writing

Reality <- Dick

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

Philip K. DickHow To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later (1978)

Each little blurry light in this picture is a galaxy, full of billions of stars. This is just from one tiny square of the sky. It goes on endlessly, even if we don't know about it.

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Posted by on January 19, 2011 in education, Science, sentience


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Rules for Writers <- William Safire

Fare well, one of our favorite wordsmiths

Fare well, one of our favorite wordsmiths

  • Remember to never split an infinitive.
  • The passive voice should never be used.
  • Do not put statements in the negative form.
  • Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
  • Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
  • If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be by rereading and editing.
  • A writer must not shift your point of view.
  • And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)
  • Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!
  • Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
  • Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
  • If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  • Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
  • Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
  • Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
  • Always pick on the correct idiom.
  • The adverb always follows the verb.
  • Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives.

William Safire (December 17, 1929 – September 27, 2009), Rules for Writers, from On Language

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Posted by on October 3, 2009 in education, Humor


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Writer’s Bloque

a1700Usually, writers will do anything to avoid writing.

For instance, the previous sentence was written at one o’clock this afternoon. It is now a quarter to four. I have spent the past two hours and forty-five minutes:

  • Sorting my neckties by width,
  • looking up the word paisly in three dictionaries,
  • attempting to find the town of that name on The New York Times Atlas of the World map of Scotland,
  • sorting my reference books by width,
  • trying to get the bookcase to stop wobbling by stuffing a matchbook cover under its corner,
  • dialing the telephone number on the matchbook cover to see if I should take computer courses at night,
  • looking at the computer ads in the newspaper and deciding to buy a computer because writing seems to be so difficult on my old Remington,
  • reading an interesting article on sorghum farming in Uruguay that was in the newspaper next to the computer ads,
  • cutting that and other interesting articles out of the newspaper,
  • sorting – by width – all the interesting articles I’ve cut out of newspapers recently,
  • fastening them neatly together with paper clips and making a very attractive paper clip necklace and bracelet set…

…which I will present to my girlfriend as soon as she comes home from the three-hour low-impact aerobic workout that I made her go to so I could have some time alone to write.
P.J. O’Rourke, The Wit and Wisdom of P. J. O’Rourke

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Posted by on September 13, 2009 in Humor


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