Blake's Reviews > The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
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's review
Aug 08, 12

bookshelves: grammar
Read in July, 2012

Had I read this a year ago, happily under the spell of nazism, I might have filled this little review with the kind of gleaming praise and happy diligence of the awakened; however, in the past year I was compelled to take up a few contemporary grammar and style guides and subsequently have developed a sore throat around these pills. I spit them out.

My grammar is not sparkling, nor even prone to an occasional gloss shimmer; nonetheless, a book of this sort does little to help the sheen. Its voice is commanding and the pressing of its commands outright to the reader leaves little space for compromise. The authority it has gained thereby, and particularly over young writers and students, is somewhat unnerving in its potential. It is troubling, in particular and general, that the book's tidiness comes at the cost of elaboration. A command is short and to the point, but it is not explicative. There are a few exceptions in which the categoricity of these commands is spelled out for the reader, but in most cases we are left alone with the word. So in these circumstances there is no knowing those rules that are worth following from those that are not.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Now you sucka motherfucker's don't understand
But to my mama, I'm her real Black Superman

Blake Wait, you're committing interracial incest?

message 3: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Now, yeh, it's yo' mama, but hey don't take it seriously playa'.
I'm just a customer. I just wanna slay'er, okay? Now it's a shame that yo' mama's on the crack rock, suckin' on dick, sellin' pussy on the damn block.

message 4: by Kristen (new)

Kristen So to you all the kids all across the land
Take it from me, Parents just don't understand

Blake I think some of the rap music you listen to may be contributing to your existential angst. I prescribe an hour a day of Sarah McLachlan, followed by at least ten minutes of Alison Krauss. Perhaps throw in some Bjork while you're at it.

message 6: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Do I seem especially angsty to you? I hate those songs actually but I was sure you liked them, and you post random song lyrics, why can't I? I learned it from you Dad, I learned it from watching you!

Blake Of course you're angsty. You're always asking "Is my hair real?" and "Can my jeans be more metaphysical than they are?"

Blake Yeah. that's something you should never end one with. Something further to definitely be sure of.

message 9: by Kalanis (new)

Kalanis he's merely using language in his own way. just as you are. both of you rebelling against the commanding voice of Elements of Style

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