To Follow or Not to Follow: Grammar Rules That Make Your Writing Sounds Blargh




Grammar Rule #1
Never split infinitives in your sentence.  No adverb or adjective should get in between to and verb.

So says some grammar rules. But how does that fit in your writing?

Take a look at the following:
·        They're going to quickly drop by the drugstore to pick up some snacks before heading off to the party.
·        They're going to drop quickly by the drugstore to pick up some snacks before heading off to the party.

Which one do you prefer?


We admit we prefer the first one. It sounds just about right in conveying our intention. Somehow the second expression sounds pointedly blargh.

Grammar Rule #2
Don’t end a sentence with a preposition.

Let's us see how this rule fit in to deliver the intended message. 

·        We want to read something that we can make head and tail of.
·        We want to read something of which we can make head and tail.

The first expression clearly is straight to the point and makes better sense while the second expression is not only a miss but sounds a bit off the mark, don’t you think?

Grammar Rule #3
Never start a sentence with a conjunction.

Consider this,
·        She sees nothing wrong with starting a sentence with a conjunction because it makes more impact and the bite-sized clause makes it more digestible.
·        She sees nothing wrong with starting a sentence with a conjunction. Because it makes more impact. And the bite-sized clause makes it more digestible.
    
Notice how the second expression carries more emphasis. Besides, it makes the tone less monotonic than the first.

Of course, you shouldn’t apply them to an academic writing, especially Grammar Rule #3. Your supervisor will have your head for trying to get away with writing that ungrammarly.

In other situations, why not? Rules are made to be broken, isn't it? As the writer of your own work, it's your choice to make.