Afterword

WILL STRUNK and E. B. White were unique collaborators. Unlike Gilbert and Sullivan, or Woodward and Bernstein, they worked separately and decades apart.

We have no way of knowing whether Professor Strunk took particular notice of Elwyn Brooks White, a student of his at Cornell University in 1919. Neither teacher nor pupil could have realized that their names would be linked as they now are. Nor could they have imagined that thirty-eight years after they met, White would take this little gem of a textbook that Strunk had written for his students, polish it, expand it, and transform it into a classic.

E.B. White shared Strunk’s sympathy for the reader. To Strunk’s do’s and don’ts he added passages about the power of words and the clear expression of thoughts and feelings. To the nuts and bolts of grammar he added a rhetorical dimension.

The editors of this edition have followed in White’s footsteps, once again providing fresh examples and modernizing usage where appropriate. The Elements of Style is still a little book, small enough and important enough to carry in your pocket, as I carry mine. It has helped me to write better. I believe it can do the same for you.

                                                                                                                                  Charles Osgood

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