The Elements of Style

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The Elements of Style

Post by gdwdwrkr » Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:15 am

-William Strunk, Jr.
I have just inherited the "little book." Halfway through,
I realize I have been a Strunk-disciple without knowing
Strunk. Blessed are those who are far-off.
E. B. White, in the introduction writes, "All through
The Elements of Style one finds evidences of the
author's deep sympathy for the reader. Will felt that
the reader was in serious trouble most of the time, a man
floundering in a swamp, and that it was the duty of anyone
attempting to write English to drain this swamp quickly
and get this man up on dry ground, or at least throw him
a rope."
This little book is new, three-ply sisal.

The Elements of Style

Post by Shelley » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:31 pm

I realized I have a copy of the 2nd edition, and began to read it today.

A few days ago I went to a lecture by Patricia T. O'Conner, the author of Woe is I, and Words Fail Me. I thought she was very good, and I took a look at the website she shares with her collaborator, Stewart Kellerman Although I didn't agree with everything she said, I really appreciated her ability to make grammar user-friendly and appealing to people who missed it in high school.

The Elements of Style

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:58 pm

James, Strunk's Elements of Style was required reading for my freshman English class in college, but to tell you the truth I haven't opened it for close to 50 years. I recall not liking the book very much at the time, but that was long ago, and maybe I should give it a second chance - I guess one shouldn't hold a grudge forever! (>:)

Shelley, I've had Patricia T. O'Conner's Woe Is I since it was first published and I really like it and it is usually the first place I look for answers to those annoying grammar questions. Thanks for pointing out the website, and I got hung up quite a while sifting through the list of questions and answers. Thanks for the lost time! (only kidding) (&lt)

Ken - September 27, 2006

The Elements of Style

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:38 pm

Look, it's just a thought, but from time to time we all quote web sites that have a serious reason to exist, like the one Shelley tells us about up there ^ . Is it possible to have a resource section, so that (a) we do not have to keep these links in favourites, and (b) we don't have to trawl through posts to look for the one we were thinking of?

If I am talking nonsense, please feel free to tell me so, I'm big enough and ugly enough to take it!
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

The Elements of Style

Post by gdwdwrkr » Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:34 pm

As if we need your permission, Bob! (And I think it is a capital idea.... Idea.)

I enjoy the dry humor in the examples in "the little book":
(on shall and will) 'A swimmer in distress cries, "I shall drown; no one will save me!" A suicide puts it the other way, "I will drown; no one shall save me!" In relaxed speech, however, the words shall and will are seldom used precisely - our ear guides us, or fails to guide us, as the case may be, and we are quite likely to drown when we want to survive, and survive when we want to drown.'

Shelley, cool website...needs looked-further-into...

The Elements of Style

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:39 am

Bob, this site already has a resource section. If you have not seen it, it is presumably because you have set your Wordwizard bookmark to one of the Forum pages rather than to the site's home page at .

However, what is there could certainly stand to be checked, updated where necessary, and expanded.
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The Elements of Style

Post by gdwdwrkr » Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:14 am

Yep. There is The Elements of Style in its entirety. (w/o E. B. White)

The Elements of Style

Post by Phil White » Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:34 pm

Originally posted by Erik_KowalHowever, what is there could certainly stand to be checked, updated where necessary, and expanded.
The site designer taps his fingers on the desk in anticipation of the promised updates. ;-)
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

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