The top ten ways you can guarantee your writing will be cool.
I wrote this up because I was sick and tired of seeing the same beginner writing mistakes over and over and over and over and... well, you get the idea. These mistakes are repeated ad nauseam even by people who ought to know better, so I decided I'd do something about it.
And no, I'm not an English teacher. I'm a degreed computer scientist --- but I'm also well-known as a grammar nazi. (I've at times been both a proscriptive grammarian and a structural linguist, so my objective here is not to correct things that intentionally deviate from standard English, but to correct things that unintentionally
This is stored as an image so that there's no ambiguity about what I intended to say. Actually, it's designed as a printable document, and I've included a PDF version
for those of you who would like to print this out for reference. This document is freely shareable. Download it, print it, share it with your friends, and maybe, just maybe, there will be a little less unreadable gibberish out there as a result.
_____________________________________________Update, five years later:
While this deviation continues to be much-loved by the literati, it's received no shortage of criticism from inexperienced writers, particularly fanfic writers. And so I will say this to those who would criticize: Before you start your complaint, read some books on writing, read some essays on writing, read Stephen King's On Writing
, and make sure you know what you're talking about. Whether you like it or not, if you want your work published, if you want other authors to take notice, and if you want your readers not to toss your work aside in disgust, then correct grammar and spelling are required, plagiarism is theft, adverbs are evil, punctuation is strict, and second draft equals first draft minus ten percent.