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I am far from an old-timer here, but I guess I am not a new poster so I thought that I would write about some lessons learned.

I've seen some great diaries and some great authors, and so I have found what seems to work, and not work in diaries by people a lot smarter then the dumb guy I am.

So, jump, if you want, with me after the break about how to write good.

  1. It is always a good idea to use a lot of profanity in your posts. This is even more so when you disagree with someone. It really helps your point a lot when you use words like "Fuck" or even better might be adding in words like moron, so to best show your point and show how right you are try something like:

"Hey, what are you a fucking moron? Don't be a dumb shit!"

  1. Use a lot of punctuation, it is sure to get your point across.

Statements with lots of !!!!!! work really well.

Shoot, which of these two statements is more likely to convince you?

"I am not sure I agree with you."

vs.

"I am not sure I agree with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Point, set and match.

  1. Use words like fat, senile, retard and dementia. They just show how much class you have and the other person does not have.
  1. You know, and we know, how smart you are in relationship to everyone else. Thus it is OK to offer your keen medical opinion on people and issues even though you do not know the whole story or have a medical degree. Pshaw! Who needs them fancy degrees to know someone suffers from dementia, diabetes or another medical condition.
  1. The following come from another collection that I used to use when I was a professor, and would hand out the collection to my students. I've decided to offer some of the more important, in my view, lessons.

Avoid Alliteration. Always.

Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

One should never generalize.

Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

Be more or less specific.

Understatement is always best.

Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

The passive voice is to be avoided.

Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

I hope these helpful hints were indeed helpful and that some of the learnin I have learned has helped you learn how to write good.

Originally posted to BFSkinner on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 10:54 AM PST.

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