Eric's Reviews > The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
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Jan 03, 09

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I never thought I would say this about a book, but every writer needs to read this book. Hell, if you plan on writing anything you should read this book. The title is very misleading. Anyone who came across it for the first time might think it was a book about "style" as an artform. For those who are worried about the pedantry of writing, this book is mostly about grammar and what can be more effective in using the English language. This needs to be in the curriculumn for high schools, especially now when grammar is being forgotten so that people can e-mail and sound stupid on myspace. I only had two bones to pick with this book: First, I thought a comment E.B. White made in terms of using only "he" instead of "she" as a universal antecedent for sentences that may begin, "One must watch his/her step," is a bit off for somebody who studies language. On one hand we have someone in love with language who agrees with Strunk that student body should be replaced with studentry, and on the other hand White is giving in to gender roles within language. A bit silly, and as many readers might have picked recognized, writing books have "she" in a lot of them. Second, White made a comment about not using a foreign language in a work which, though I agree can be confusing, can still be pulled off. The way it came across was distasteful. But those are perhaps just comments on what I might feel about White as a person and not as a writer or teacher. Get this book!
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Linda (new)

Linda Hey Eric! Nice photo! My copy of this book has been traveling with me through the decades! It is a must-have for writers or anyone who wants to communicate clearly and with style! Glad you found it.

Linda


message 2: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan Decker I could not imagine not having a copy of this book nearby as a reference. In fact, one copy is so worn that somewhere along the way, I got a second. It has been a gift that in high school,
I learned the value of studying grammar and love it to this day. The popularity of text messages and dashing of a quick email makes Elements of Style a book that anyone who writes anything should read and keep as a reference.


message 3: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan Decker I could not imagine not having a copy of this book nearby as a reference. In fact, one copy is so worn that somewhere along the way, I got a second. It has been a gift that in high school,
I learned the value of studying grammar and love it to this day. The popularity of text messages and dashing of a quick email makes Elements of Style a book that anyone who writes anything should read and keep as a reference.


message 4: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan Decker I could not imagine not having a copy of this book nearby as a reference. In fact, one copy is so worn that somewhere along the way, I got a second. It has been a gift that in high school,
I learned the value of studying grammar and love it to this day. The popularity of text messages and dashing of a quick email makes Elements of Style a book that anyone who writes anything should read and keep as a reference.


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