There are some consideration different to typical grammar rules, such as Positive statements are often preferred, putting negative as early as possible, less is more (concise), etc.

Is there a term to refer to that kind of rules? Are those rules, principles or something else when writing and speaking?

In other words, what keywords could be used for searching when I want the results contain those topics. For counterexample, one of the results returned for "100 Things It Means to Be a good english article" is 100 things you can do to improve your English, which doesn't contain similar topics I'm looking for.

1 Answer 1


The examples you give are certainly not "rules", otherwise nobody would ever make a negative statement. I wouldn't even say they were all "principles" either, as they might not all apply in every situation

There are some general principles of writing that we refer to as "rules of thumb". That is an expression we use to describe any broadly true principle which may not be written theory. However, there are so many different styles of writing in any language, and "principles" or "rules of thumb" may apply only to one particular style. For example, journalists often have to stick to "style guides" which may include things like "always write numbers as a word", or "always write 'per cent', not 'percent'". These are not rules outside of journalism.

I did a bit of Googling and I seemed to find the kind of articles you are looking for by using the word "tips". A "tip" is a useful hint which can help achieve a positive outcome but is not necessarily a "rule". One of your cited examples of "prefer positive statements" might be a good tip if you were writing a CV or a resume when you want the reader to think in positive terms.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .