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Thursday, April 12, 2012

When it comes to Persuasive Writing, Let Me Show You How to Break the Rules | Constant Contact Community

I don't support frequent or limitless breaking of common grammar, style and word usage rules. Such rules have value to readers (and writers) because they reduce confusion, aid readability and understanding, and prevent surprises or distractions ("This writer doesn't know basic grammar! Why should I believe him?").

And some rules of writing are myths; despite common references to them, language authorities for decades have denied their value and function. The  "rule" about not beginning sentences with a conjunction is such a myth (though frequent use of a conjunction at the beginning of sentences can be distracting and repetitious).

Anyway, the blogger does provide some useful ideas, such as writing in the second person, using "directive" language, keeping sentences and paragraphs short, beginning [some!] sentences with conjunctions, and using contractions.

I'd avoid using many sentence fragments (potentially confusing and distracting), redundant phrases (wordy, time-wasting), and familiar terms (beware of using boring, tired cliches). But consider the needs of your audience; familiar, everyday words and terms may be more understandable to your readers than, say, business jargon.
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