Topic 9: Writing in Plain English, Part 2

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Common Writing Myths


Some grammar rules change over time. For example, you may have been taught the following rules, which are now considered “grammar myths.”

  • Myth: Never start a sentence with and, but, because, so, or however.
    Reality: It’s OK to start a sentence with the following words: “and”, “but”, “because”, “so” and “however.”
  • Myth: Never split infinitives, such as “to decide” or “to be.”
    Reality: It’s OK to split infinitives, such as “To boldly go….”
  • Myth: Never end a sentence with a preposition.
    Reality: It’s OK to end a sentence with a preposition, such as “She doesn’t know whom she wants to go with.”
  • Myth: Never use the same word twice in a sentence
    Reality: It’s better to use the same word twice in a sentence than cause confusion by using a different word.

Adapted from: http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/files/howto.pdf.