Rules for a prescriptive grammar

There is no shortage of grammars, particularly of English, which will tell you how you must write a language, oblivious to the way in which people today are actually using that language – the cardinal sin of prescriptivism. I thought that you might enjoy, and enlarge upon, some entries submitted for inclusion in the English version.

  1. Be sure to never split an infinitive.
  2. Prepositions are bad to end sentences with.
  3. Passives are best avoided.
  4. Circumlocution and undue emphasis on subtlety may not be as effective a way of getting your message across when more direct and concise framing is preferable.
  5. But you should not start a sentence with a conjunction.

I welcome amendments to the above, and suggestions for new entries to bring colour to the cheeks of every prescriptivist.