Most New Year’s resolutions revolve around eating, drinking, moving one’s body, moving up the career ladder, or finally writing that treatise about The Meaning of Life and becoming rich and famous. How often do we reflect on our linguistic lapses and resolve to do better next year? Not very, I would guess. Which means we’re missing a golden opportunity to make resolutions that actually stick, losing a subject-verb disagreement habit being an arguably easier proposition than losing 30 pounds.
So here I go – my baker’s dozen (a senescent expression meaning 13, hearkening back to the kinder, gentler era when smiling bakers added a free dinner roll to all orders of 12) grammatical resolutions for 2013.
- I will avoid clichés like the plague.
- I will seek to find words other than prepositions to end sentences with.
- I will make a special point to avoid repetition whenever possible, with the possible exception of repetition for pointed effect.
- Run-on sentences will top my verbal no-fly list, with some latitude for breaking rules, of course, poetic license being a valid escape clause, all in moderation I say.
- I could care less whether a misuse of language has crept into the lexicon – my own criteria for usage is more stringent.
- I shall delete all bureaucratic, officious phraseology from my inventory of admissible utilization.
- I will no longer use redundancies anymore.
- I will keep my manuscripts free of malapropisms, for my predecessors’ sake as well as my own.
- My personal branding will include an avoidance of business buzzwords, which aren’t all that impactful and don’t bring much value-add to our knowledge economy.
- I will be punctilious, about punctuation.
- Like a gardener pruning a rosebush, I will renounce the gratuitous use of similes.
- I will prooofread more carefully.
- I will eschew all sloppy uses of English and thereby become one of the best writers around, bar none.
How about you? Any English errors to expunge? Linguistic lapses to lay to rest? Aberrations to abjure from your authorial arsenal? Curious minds want to know.