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. Mapping the World
By Heart
 Completely revised and updated.
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If: A Mind-Bending New Way of 
Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers
David J. Smith
A Mind-Bending New Way
Of Looking at Big
Ideas and Numbers

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This Child, Every Child: A 
Book for Children About the Rights of Children
This Child Every Child
David J. Smith
A Picture Book About
The Rights of Children
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If the World Were a Village SECOND EDITION
If the World Were a Village

David J. Smith

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If America Were a Village
If America Were a Village
David J. Smith
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Original 15-Item list be William Safire, ca. 1970
Additions by my 7th graders and friends, and site visitors

  1. Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
  2. Don't use no double negatives.
  3. Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't.
  4. Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
  5. Do not put statements in the negative form.
  6. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  7. No sentence fragments.
  8. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  9. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  10. Steer clear of incorrect verb forms that have snuck into the language.
  11. Take the bull by the hand in leading away from mixed metaphors.
  12. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
    • Like, be aware that "like" is, like, easily misused.
  13. Try to never split infinitives.
  14. Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  15. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
  16. I must have told you a million times to resist hyperbole.
  17. Also, avoid awkward and affected alliteration.
  18. "Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks" ' ".
  19. Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
  20. A writer must not shift your point of view.
  21. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
  22. Don't overuse exclamation marks!!!!!
  23. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of ten or more words, to their antecedents.
  24. Write all adverbial forms correct.
  25. Avoid un-necessary hyphenation.
  26. When dangling, watch your participles.
  27. It is incumbent on us to avoid archaic phrases.
  28. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
  29. It's hard to imagine a phrase when you will have needed the future perfect.
  30. Unqualified superlatives are the worst.
  31. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
  32. A preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.


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