To be a writer is to be bombarded with advice. Omit the needless words! To never split infinitives! That the passive voice must be avoided! Goodness. Where did all these grammar rules even come from? I’ll take you through some of the most common writerly aphorisms and explain their history and linguistic underpinnings– not to tell you how to write, but so that you can make deeper and more informed choices in your diction.