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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Writing Tips for the Practical-Minded #16: Thank you, Strunk and White

I'm getting in the car in half an hour for an overnight trip to visit my son and daughter-in-law.  What does this mean?

It means that I'm going to have a heckuva time providing you people with your writing tips for the practical-minded today and tomorrow!!

While pondering this conundrum, I remembered how much I learned from those two estimable men, Strunk and White.  (And if you do not have their slim volume, The Elements of Style on your shelf, get it.  It's cheap--$7.95--and it is the purest distillation of advice to practical-minded writers that I know.)  E.B. White, of Charlotte's Web fame, edited his professor's book of aphorisms like "Omit needless words," and "Be clear," into an easily assimilated guidebook for scribblers everywhere, and I'd like to thank him for it.

Here is an article written last year in celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Elements of Style--  Read it, and you will have gotten your daily dose of writing advice, even in my absence.

There.  That's all I have to say, and I think I've followed Strunk and White's dictum to "Be clear," so I believe I shall quit.

Mary Anna


  1. I still have a copy from at least 30 years ago. Now I should find it.

  2. If you find it, make sure your kids read it. It's a quick read, and the pithy sayings stick with you. They'll get better grades on their papers with Strunk and White lodged in their brains. Really!