Happy New Year – here are your grammar resolutions for 2016

Much as the average 12-year-old web wizard couldn’t give a tupenny f*** about grammar and punctuation, those of us who are marginally older and more prone to verbal dignity need to make sure we don’t upset the Grammar Nazis who lurk amongst our client/customer and prospect bases. And Heaven forbid, you don’t want to start off the New Year making grammar boo-boos, do you?

HTWB New Year 2016So here are the grammar resolutions you need to take seriously in 2016.

In my grammar resolutions for 2016 I will ensure that:

1. My verbs always agrees with its subjects.

2. I never end a sentence with a preposition because they’re not what you should end a sentence with.

3. I won’t ever start a sentence with a conjunction. But there are exceptions.

4. I never split an infinitive because it’s wrong to ever do so, unless I am an American. (Sorry, Yanks … !)

5. I avoid clichés like the plague. (They’re old hat. )

6. Also, I always avoid annoying alliteration.

7. What I write is more or less specific, depending on my point of view.

8. I’m aware that parenthetical statements (however relevant) are (normally) unnecessary.

9. I never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

10. No sentence fragments. Dirty my text.

11. I remember that contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.

12. I avoid words and phrases in other languages are not a propos or de rigeur. Especially in français.

13. I avoid redundant verbiage; do not use more words, terms and names than needed, required or necessary; it’s highly, utterly and totally superfluous.

14. I am aware that one should NEVER generalize.

15. I avoid comparisons, as they are as bad as clichés because they put up one point against another.

16. I don’t use no double negatives, because no-one can’t see the point.

17. I eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

18. When tempted to use a one-word verbless sentence? Eliminate.

19. I understand that analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

20. The passive voice is to be ignored.

21. I eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.

22. I never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

23. I kill all exclamation points!!!

24. I use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

25. I accept that understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas.

26. I use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.

27. I eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”

28. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: I will resist hyperbole. Not one writer in a million can use it correctly.

29. I keep puns strictly for children, not groan readers.

30. I go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

31. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

32. I ask who needs rhetorical questions.

33. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

Got all those? Good. But if not…

Stay tuned to HowToWriteBetter.net and let us help you with all your writing both for business and for pleasure, throughout 2016 as we have been doing since 2011.

And never forget that if you have a query or question just drop me (Suze) a note on suze@suzanstmaur.com. I might not be able to answer it but if I can’t, I may well know someone who can, and will pass on the connection to you.

PS: Grammar Resolutions or not, Happy New Year!

Hope 2016 brings you everything you hope for – and more!






  1. Marvelous! I need this.