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Cash's "Unforgivables"

I received some interest in my last blog post, and you asked to know more about Cash's "unforgivables": her list of forbidden writing errors. I am happy to share this list with you and I hope it will be a helpful resource and guide. As detailed in her course syllabus, the first 10 of Cash's "unforgivables" are as follows:


1. Faulty subject-verb agreement;
2. Dangling modifiers, with special emphasis on dangling participles;
3. Misspelled words and/or typographical/word processing errors;
4. Passive voice verb constructions unless unavoidable;
5. Split infinitives except when you can't correct them without changing the meaning of your sentence;
6. Incorrectly formed possessives;
7. Comma splices;
8. Run-on sentences;
9. Incorrect punctuation of conjunctive adverbs and/or expressions;
10. Failure to use commas after introductory adverb clauses or other introductory elements like participial phrases and several prepositional phrases together.

I would like to talk in more detail with anyone who has questions or other interest in the rules of writing well. Don't be discouraged or overwhelmed when you look at this list of errors. They may seem cumbersome or confusing at first, but when you truly learn them and become aware of making these mistakes, over time, avoiding them will become second-nature to you. The last 10 "unforgivables" will be included in my next blog post. Happy writing!