William Safire's rules for writers

William Safire is the author of the New York Times Magazine column "On Language", where he discusses alleged grammatical errors, summing up many of these with a pithy phrase illustrating said error. The lists below, which can be found in many places on the Web, often without reference to the original place and date of publication, are a collection of these phrases (note that I have not checked them for accuracy against the original sources). Safire's book, How Not to Write: The Essential Misrules of Grammar (Norton, 2005) is another source of these phrases (my thanks to Beth Enochs for pointing me at this book, in Sept 2007).

Remember to never split an infinitive.
The passive voice should never be used.
Do not put statements in the negative form.
Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
A writer must not shift your point of view.
And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
(Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)
Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
Always pick on the correct idiom.
The adverb always follows the verb.
Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague; seek viable alternatives.

In Dec 2002 Mike Weaver emailed me a few more rules, which are occasionally also found on "Safire's Rules" websites:

Never use a preposition to end a sentence with.
Avoid anoying alliteration.
Don't verb nouns.
Don't use no double negatives.
Make each pronoun agree with their antecedent.
When dangling, watch your participles.
Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.
Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
About those sentence fragments.
Try to not ever split infinitives.
Its important to use apostrophe's correctly.
Always read what you have written to see if you've any words out.
Correct spelling is esential.
Proofread you writing.
Between you and I, case is important.
Verbs has to agree with their antecedents.