Nine writing ‘rules’ you can safely ignore

The idea that our language is going to the dogs is a pedant’s meme that goes back at least as far as Seneca.

Perhaps you had a teacher (or a boss or an editor) with a prescriptivist bent, someone who holds certain principles of language use to be immutable laws, such as ‘Never start a sentence with And or But’ or ‘Always use a comma after “which”’.

We all have a few of these peeves rattling around our heads, but it is the mark of the true prescriptivist to turn them into in an ideology.