Saturday, October 15, 2011

Seven Deadly Sins of Student Writers

Several years ago, writer and English professor Ben Yagoda wrote an article identifying the seven deadly sins. He limited himself to usages that do not fully comport with the writing rules of standard English. In the article, Professor Yagoda offers a thoughtful discussion. Here the deadly sins:

1. Dangling modifiers.

2. Omitted commas.

3. Gratuitous commas.

4. Semicolons (almost always used improperly).

5. Use of the word “they.”

6. Spell-check errors.

7. Wrong word.

I wonder why the misuse of apostrophes failed to make the list.


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