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The Elements of Style [Paperback]

William Strunk Jr. , E. B. White
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 5.54 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

23 July 1999 Elements of Style
You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book's unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing.

Frequently Bought Together

The Elements of Style + The Penguin Guide to Punctuation (Penguin Reference Books) + The Penguin Writer's Manual (Penguin Reference Books)
Price For All Three: 18.12

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Product details

  • Paperback: 105 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 4 edition (23 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 020530902X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0205309023
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"...a marvellous and timeless little book... Here, succinctly, elegantly and without fuss are the essentials of writing clear, correct English."

John Clare, The Telegraph

From the Back Cover

Some acclaim for previous editions:

"Buy it, study it, enjoy it. It's as timeless as a book can be in our age of volubility."
The New York Times

"No book in shorter space, with fewer words, will help any writer more than this persistent little volume."
The Boston Globe

"White is one of the best stylists and most lucid minds in this country. What he says and his way of saying it are equally rewarding."
The Wall Street Journal

"The book remains a nonpareil: direct, correct, and delightful."
The New Yorker

". . . Should be the daily companion of anyone who writes for a living, and for that matter, anyone who writes at all."
Greensboro (N.C.) Daily News

"This excellent book, which should go off to college with every freshman, is recognized as the best book of its kind we have."
St. Paul Dispatch – Pioneer Press

"It's hard to imagine an engineer or a manager who doesn't need to express himself in English prose as part of his job. It's also hard to imagine a writer who will not be improved by a liberal application of The Elements of Style."
Telephone Engineer & Management

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pocket Pearl 22 Oct 2001
First published in the 1930's, this tiny gem is jammed with
timeless writing advice. The Elements of Style shows you how to be
clear, concise and precise, and is itself written in a similar
style. No other book packs as much useful information into such a tiny
space. The authors of 1000 page tomes, such as the Chicago Manual of
Style, would do well to follow Strunk's enduring advice. This should
be mandatory reading for anyone involved in a career in research, editing or
technical authoring.
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86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great guide 5 Jan 2006
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
I first encountered Strunk and White's 'Elements of Style' when I was an undergraduate, and I have been a fan of this book ever sense. Perhaps it is because of the excellent teamwork that is apparent on the pages between the master of language, William Strunk, and the master of narrative, E.B. White. How can you go wrong learning grammar from the likes of the author of such wonderful tales as Stuart Little?
During my English composition class as an undergraduate, we had to read this book twice, once at the beginning of the term, and again at the end. I have since referred to the pages so often that I am on my fourth or fifth copy, as the binding and pages have worn out from use. Long before books such as 'Woe is I' or 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves', this book, 'The Elements of Style' has held a certain pride of place in being useful, accessible and interesting in its presentation of a traditionally and typically boring subject - grammar and usage.
Among the pieces I re-read on a frequent basis is the list of commonly misused or abused words and phrases. Here is a list of easily corrected mistakes that the typical writer and speaker needs to keep in mind. Also, the suggestions for composition are gentle reminders that creativity and good craftsmanship need not be contradictory.
This is a wonderful gift and wonderful treat for oneself.
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for the aspiring writer 25 Mar 2006
This handy no nonsense book was recommended to me by Stephen King in his foreword for the book "on writing". I fully agree with him and that no word is wasted and examples are given to amplify the points. Anyone who is interested in improving their prose should get one...and it's easy on the pocket.It should be the first book you buy on style and finding your voice.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important little book... 28 Nov 2007
By B. D. Wilson VINE VOICE
"The Elements of Style" was recommended to me by Stephen King in his book "On Writing". I see it as basically filling in the gaps that King left in his book. King's book was more concerned with the practical matters of writing, whereas, TEOS is all about LANGUAGE and how to use it, which King only touched upon.

And this book certainly packs a lot of information and advice, especially given that it is only 85 pages long. It has five chapters. The first chapter is called ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE and contains eleven grammatical tips, from the use of commas and semi-colons to structuring of a sentence. The second chapter, ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION, is more about writing style and ways to keep your writing punchy and fresh. Chapter 3, A FEW MATTERS OF FORM, mostly concerns physical presentation of your work and may be more suitable to formal letter writing that fiction, but may be useful to other forms nonetheless. Chapter 4 is about WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED and includes some of my pet hates, including those who turn "I couldn't care less" into "I could care less", thus completely destroying the meaning of the phrase. I also learned a few new things from this section. The fifth chapter is called AN APPROACH TO STYLE and contains 21 general tips, or "reminders", about how to keep your writing consistent and stop it going bad. A lot of my description here sounds very general and vague, and makes most of the sections sound the same, but trust me that it all makes sense and has a point in the book that I just can't quite explain - I need a bigger vocab!

There are one or two minor problems with the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Amusing 17 Feb 2009
Recommended by a journalist friend, The Elements of Style has proved ideal for this latent grammar nerd. Good if you have to write for your job and care about not reading like an illiterate. Sadly the gaps left by the UK education system may mean that you don't have the technical understanding to take on some of the finer points. Contains some excellent jokes.
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134 of 150 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful, but neither perfect nor the best 16 Aug 2002
This brief book can teach the inexpert writer much, and even experts will learn a few new things. However, it presents itself, and is often presented by others, as a flawless masterpiece - something it is not.
What jars most is that the book itself is riddled with errors. I'm not nit-picking about pedantic subtleties - there are real, serious mistakes: the authors spell the English place "Bridgwater" as "Bridgewater", for example, and they often omit essential hyphens, thereby missing their meaning.
I was also upset that so many of the before-and-after examples are flawed. Too often, in mending style, nuances are lost; in many cases I could see alternatives that were more correct, brief, elegant and exact.
It would be interesting to see Strunk's original offering, or an earlier edition of White's adaptation: some of the material is pristine and unobjectionable, so maybe successive editings have let the work fall from former greatness. It is hard to tell, now.
If you are buying just one book on English usage, let it be Bill Bryson's "Troublesome Words". If you want to own a legendary work on the subject, buy Fowler. If you already have a dozen such books, by all means get this one too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars More than a "page-turner"
Randomly in the paperback edition I was sent, pp77-100 are upside down! Unimportant for me, but useless as a gift.
Published 1 day ago by Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Confidence building
Had to buy this for my undergrad, wish I'd bought it years ago, it's really clear and I understand everything now.
Published 1 day ago by Megan Reads Books!
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality
A must have for anyone who wants to top up the quality of their writing in the most fundamental areas. Read more
Published 11 days ago by A-NineOne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant little book. The only book on grammar that you will ever need.
Published 17 days ago by Miss Samantha Laight
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-have for anyone who writes!
One of the best books I have read. Easy to read and understand and at the same time learn!
Published 23 days ago by Petrou Lambros
5.0 out of 5 stars the best and funniest writing guide around
Classic book, the best and funniest writing guide around.
Published 27 days ago by O.A
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
If you want to improve your writing this is a must have. Can't praise it enough and it's a relevant now as it was when it first appeared.
Published 1 month ago by Dr. N. Lynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential if you write anything
The Elements of Style is the one grammar book that almost any writer would refer you to. If you write anything - novels, reports, angry passive-aggressive letters to your... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mike N
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful
I can see why this is a classic! I enjoyed reading it just for fun. It makes you realise how much 'padding' gets put into poor writing. Read more
Published 3 months ago by bubba
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I'm not a reader and don't like reading, but this book is really great. I do software engineering and although I consider myself to have good communication skills, recognize the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Blake
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