In which I detail my adventures in writing and publishing

Monday, September 27, 2010

Strunk and White

A common punchline dropped in the Laugh-In TV show was "look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls," referring to the publisher of a popular dictionary and encyclopedia in the early part of the 20th century.

To writers I suggest looking things up in their Strunk and White. I'm referring to the slim but powerful book titled The Elements of Style, first published in 1959. Noted writer EB White studied at Cornell and took a course called English 8 from Professor William Strunk Jr. Professor Strunk used as a text a book of the same name which he had written for the course.

In 1957, eleven years after the death of Prof. Strunk, White revised the text for publication by Macmillan. It remains a classic and I recommend it to every writer, no matter how accomplished. In just 85 pages Strunk and White lay out in easy to read English a manual on how to write. Imagination and inspiration are possessed in varying degrees by writers. The Elements of Style is a tool box they can use to build and polish their projects.

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