The term is taken from Fumblerules, an amusing guide to good grammar published by William Safire. Safire's list may actually have been penned by George L. Trigg, but it has been added to and individual fumblerules have produced many variations over the years.

  • Make sure each pronoun agrees with their antecedent.
  • Just between you and I, the case of pronouns is important.
  • Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.
  • Verbs has to agree in number with their subjects.
  • Don't use no double negatives.
  • Being bad grammar, a writer should not use dangling modifiers.
  • Join clauses good like a conjunction should.
  • A writer must not shift your point of view.
  • No sentence fragments.
  • Don't use run-on sentences they are hard to read you should punctuate them.
  • In letters essays and reports use commas to separate items in a series.
  • Don't use commas, that are not necessary.
  • Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
  • Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
  • Don't abbrev.
  • Check to see if you any words out.
  • In the case of a report, check to see that jargonwise, it's A-OK.
  • As far as incomplete constructions, they are wrong.
  • About repetition, the repetition of a word might be real effective repetition.
  • In my opinion, I think that an author when he is writing should definitely not get into the habit of making use of too many unnecessary words that he does not really need in order to put his message across.
  • Use parallel construction not only to be concise but also clarify.
  • It behooves us all to avoid archaic expressions.
  • Mixed metaphors are a pain in the neck and ought to be weeded out.
  • Consult the dictionery to avoid mispelings.
  • To ignorantly split an infinitive is a practice to religiously avoid.
  • Remember to hyphenate two or more word modifiers that precede the words they modify.
  • Eschew obfuscation.
  • Last but not least, lay off clich├ęs.

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