Over the years, I’ve collected a lot of writing advice. Some of those tips have been good. These are not those tips. If you want to become a better writer, ignore these so-called tips any time you see them, no matter who you hear them from.
There’s a stupid rule grammar purists cling to: “Don’t split an infinitive.”
This is well and fine, until you realize where this supposed rule came from.
I’ll be upfront and honest: I’m not a grammar traditionalist in the slightest. I believe you should use commas and colons correctly, sure, but I’m not the kind of editor or writer who believes in artificial constructions like ensuring you never break an infinitive or rearranging a sentence so it doesn’t end with a preposition.
I definitely do not abide by the divide between “nauseate” and “nauseous.” The people who do are the people who read Strunk & White and take it as gospel, including all that nonsense about passive voice.
Most people these days use “nauseous” to describe a feeling. You might go to your doctor if you’ve been experiencing nausea and tell the good doctor you’re “nauseous.”
If your GP is a grammar purist, they will laugh. And laugh. And laugh.
English is a tricky language. Even the best of us struggle with it. Whether you’re writing a book, you want to write one, or you’re planning to be an editor, you need to be on the lookout for these common pitfalls.