The Elements of Style – by William Strunk Jr and E.B. White

October 8, 2009

review by Gabriel

In the introduction to The Elements of Style, E B White provides a wonderful image of his former English tutor, William Strunk, standing before his class and dictating, “Rule Seventeen!  Omit needless words!  Omit needless words!  Omit needless words!”  It was an image that stayed with me while I read this writing guide, and every time I came across an uncompromising order on the use of commas, or a withering criticism of those who trespass against the rules of language, I imagined a curmudgeonly old English professor waggling his finger at me.  The important thing to note, however, is that he’s a curmudgeonly old English professor who knows what he’s talking about.

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