Austen to Zafón 's Reviews > The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
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Mar 23, 14

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, classic, own-tp

The best part of this book is the introduction. Many people don't know that the "White" of "Strunk & White" was E.B. White, author of "Charlotte's Web," amonng other books. White is funny throughout the book, but his humor is concentrated in the intro. I can't say I agree with everything this book advises, especially since I like quite a few verbose 19th century authors, but it's a classic and most of the advice is pithy and helpful. A couple of quotes I love:

“Rather, very, little, pretty -- these are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words. The constant use of the adjective little (except to indicate size) is particularly debilitating; we should all try to do a little better, we should all be very watchful of this rule, for it is a rather important one, and we are pretty sure to violate it now and then. ”

"Nauseous. Nauseated. The first means "sickening to contemplate"; the second means "sick at the stomach." Do not, therefore, say "I feel nauseous," unless you are sure you have that effect on others."

And, finally, who doesn't love "Omit needless words?" The question is, which are needless?
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03/23/2014 marked as: reference
03/23/2014 marked as: read

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