Elements of Style

ISBN-10: 020530902X

ISBN-13: 9780205309023

Edition: 4th 2000

Authors: William Strunk, E. B. White, Roger Angell

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Book details

List price: $9.95
Edition: 4th
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Longman Publishing Group
Publication date: 7/23/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 105
Size: 4.50" wide x 7.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.242
Language: English

William Strunk Jr. was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 1, 1869. He received a bachelor's degree at the University of Cincinnati in 1890 and Ph.D. at Cornell University in 1896. He taught English at Cornell University for forty-six years. He wrote two books: The Elements of Style, which was later published under the title The Elements and Practice of Composition, and English Metres. He was also an editor and edited important works by such authors as William Shakespeare, John Dryden, and James Fenimore Cooper. He served as a literary consultant to the 1936 MGM film version of Romeo and Juliet. He died on September 26, 1946.

Elwyn Brooks White was born on July 11, 1899, in Mt. Vernon, New York. After graduating from Cornell University, he worked briefly for an advertising agency and as a newspaper reporter before joining the staff of The New Yorker magazine in 1927. As a columnist for The New Yorker and a contributor to Harper's Magazine, White established a reputation as a prose stylist of exceptional elegance, clarity and wit. His interests, as reflected in his writing, were numerous and varied; his essays touched on such wide-ranging subjects as politics, farm animals, and life in New York City. White married Katharine S. Angell in 1929. They had one son, and in 1957 the family left New York for a farm in North Brookline, Maine. Writings from The New Yorker, 1927-1976 is a compilation of columns and essays produced during White's long relationship with the magazine. One Man's Meat, published in 1942, is a collection of his writings for Harper's. White adapted a short guide to English grammar and usage, The Elements of Style, from a college text written by one of his professors at Cornell, William Strunk Jr. It has sold millions of copies since it was first published in 1959 and has become a cherished resource for guidance in writing. White also co-authored Is Sex Necessary? with the humorist James Thurber, a fellow staff member at The New Yorker. E.B. White died on October 1, 1985 after succumbing to Alzheimer's. His diverse legacy also includes three children's books: Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. In 1970 the American Library Association presented White the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award in recognition of his "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children." He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 and received a special Pulitzer Prize citation for his body of work in 1970.

Roger Angell lives in New York City.

Elementary Rules of Usage
Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding 's
In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last
Enclose parenthetic expressions between commas
Place a comma before a conjunction introducing an independent clause
Do not join independent clauses with a comma
Do not break sentences in two
Use a colon after an independent clause to introduce a list of particulars, an appositive, an amplification, or an illustrative quotation
Use a dash to set off an abrupt break or interruption and to announce a long appositive or summary
The number of the subject determines the number of the verb
Use the proper case of pronoun
A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammatical subject
Elementary Principles of Composition
Choose a suitable design and hold to it
Make the paragraph the unit of composition
Use the active voice
Put statements in positive form
Use definite, specific, concrete language
Omit needless words
Avoid a succession of loose sentences
Express coordinate ideas in similar form
Keep related words together
In summaries, keep to one tense
Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end
A Few Matters of Form
Words and Expressions Commonly Misused
An Approach to Style (With a List of Reminders)
Place yourself in the background
Write in a way that comes naturally
Work from a suitable design
Write with nouns and verbs
Revise and rewrite
Do not overwrite
Do not overstate
Avoid the use of qualifiers
Do not affect a breezy manner
Use orthodox spelling
Do not explain too much
Do not construct awkward adverbs
Make sure the reader knows who is speaking
Avoid fancy words
Do not use dialect unless your ear is good
Be clear
Do not inject opinion
Use figures of speech sparingly
Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity
Avoid foreign languages
Prefer the standard to the offbeat
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