UP TO this point, the book has been concerned with what is correct, or acceptable, in the use of English. In this final chapter, we approach style in its broader meaning: style in the sense of what is distinguished and distinguishing. Here we leave solid ground. Who can confidently say what ignites a certain combination … Continue reading An Approach to Style (With a List of Reminders)
Index Table Index The Elements of Style - Strunk & White
adjectival modifier A word, phrase, or clause that acts as an adjective in qualifying the meaning of a noun or pronoun, Your country; a turn-of-the-century style; people who are always late. adjective A word that modifies, quantifies, or otherwise describes a noun or pronoun. Drizzly November; midnight dreary; only requirement. adverb A word that modifies … Continue reading Glossary
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 … Continue reading Afterword
Young writers will be drawn at every turn toward eccentricities in language. They will hear the beat of new vocabularies, the exciting rhythms of special segments of their society, each speaking a language of its own. All of us come under the spell of these unsettling drums; the problem for beginners is to listen to … Continue reading Prefer the standard to the offbeat (AATS 21)
The writer will occasionally find it convenient or necessary to borrow from other languages. Some writers, however, from sheer exuberance or a desire to show off, sprinkle their work liberally with foreign expressions, with no regard for the reader's comfort. It is a bad habit. Write in English.
Do not use initials for the names of organizations or movements unless you are certain the initials will be readily understood. Write things out. Not everyone knows that MADD means Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and even if everyone did, there are babies being born every minute who will someday encounter the name for the first … Continue reading Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity (AATS 19)