The symbols used here are my own and are not in universal use, at least not yet. I prefer not to use many of the standard names and phrases because I fear that too many students get lost in memorizing nomenclature and never spend enough time worrying about why these errors are forbidden. To understand the rules that govern grammar is more important than to know one hundred different phrases for various mistakes. Therefore, I have tried to find new ways of identifying common errors so that students will know why I think they are wrong.
Taken from Strunk and White famous Elements of Style, this simple rule applies more often than any other to papers I correct. I need to get a stamp made with this on it. I follow Ray Kroc's rule, "K.I.S.S.," "Keep It Simple, Stupid." The fewer words in which something can be said, the better. Don't use eight words when two will do. Don't say "Following is the next argument to be made in support of the proposition here under consideration"; say "Next, . . ." When you begin a sentence, state the subject only once (sportscasters notwithstanding): "The author of this book, he is really a jerk" should instead be "The author of this book is a jerk." Better yet, name him and the book: "In the book Moby Dick, by the writer Herman Melville, the author says" can easily be shortened to "In Moby Dick, Herman Melville writes."