• Barbara Roy

Writing Tip: Writing and rule breaking

Here is where you can tell the difference between a pro writer and a grammarian: A pro writer knows it’s okay to break the “rules” and when to do so; a grammarian believes adhering to the rules is the end goal. Obviously, I’m not advocating reckless misuse of grammar, sentence structure or language usage—that would mean chaos. Writing rules were created for good reasons, but only useful if they reinforce delivery of the intended message. With the ever-shifting communications parameters social media and online publishing has created, writing rules will inevitably also need to change. Even so, rule breaking in writing was happening long before the internet. The real tip is, if it makes the communication easier to understand, more readable, or simpler in some way, feel free to break a writing rule; that is, once you’re well-versed in what the rules are in the first place. (I almost added an emoticon here to demonstrate one of my points, and aid as a tone cue—my son would kill me—but more on that another time.) See also Practice Self-Restraint.

© 2017 Barbara Roy, Scarlettown Communications, LLC

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