TO READ · 08/24/2015
The Elements of Style
The Elements of Style (also known as “that grammar book you were meant to read in college”) is the authority on questions of English grammar and style and, most importantly, is as charming a read as it is edifying. Why? Two words: William. Strunk.
Flashback to Cornell University campus circa 1919, where Professor Strunk is lecturing undergrads on the importance of writing with clarity, brevity, and precision. With his steel-rimmed spectacles, pencil-thin mustache, and meticulous middle part, Strunk spiritedly (and tirelessly) recites his now-famous mantras: Vigorous writing is concise; Omit needless words!— and eventually compiles them into a 43-page style guide.
E.B. White (Charlotte’s Web, y’all!) is sitting in this class and will eventually expand the handy guide by a whopping 45 more pages, resulting in the 85 page edition that we all know and love.
Sure, Strunk can be strident at times (are we really vile and unwholesome when we go rogue with commas?) but to give credit where due, we’ve never seen Type A pulled off with such grammatical aplomb.
Bottom line: The Elements of Style will keep you honest.