How to Annoy Your Reader

There are many ways an author can annoy their reader without even trying, or in most cases, thinking about it.

So…how to annoy me (the reader) let me count the ways.

Apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning a British poet 1806 -1861
Her classic poem began… “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

Use lots and lots and lots of run on sentences with ‘ands’ that never seem to end.
Make sure that they are really convoluted (look it up) and hard to understand.

Oh, yeah, use words that you have absolutely no idea what they mean.
Your reader won’t appreciate trying to figure out the word that really belongs there.

A good rule of writing is to never use five words on page that would likely be beyond the reader’s level. There are lots of resources that organize words into what grade a child is likely to learn them.

Please………use the wrong form of the word…. that really gets our blood boiling and makes us so proud of you…. NOT!

Sally and Timmy went over to there/their friend’s house after school.
“There are to/too/two many candles on my cake” Uncle Harry complained.

Begin every sentence that you possibly can with either ‘And’ or ‘But’.

Whenever I see this happen my blood almost literally boils! I have been writing for over 50 years and have never had to begin a sentence with either one. If your sentence is rolling along  and you can’t bare to start a new one simply put a semi colon….; instead of beginning a new one with ‘and’.

These two lovely words interrupt the flow of your story and jolt the reader right out of the book. I know, I know ‘they’say it’s acceptable. If you choose to be a mediocre writer go right ahead.

Any author who really knows their ‘stuff’ when it comes to grammar and word usage is miles ahead of the pack.

If you follow these suggestions I can guarantee you will have accomplished your goal of annoying your reader to the point of never getting past the second or third paragraph of your article.


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