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The Elements of Style
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"...a marvellous and timeless little book... Here, succinctly, elegantly and without fuss are the essentials of writing clear, correct English."
John Clare, The Telegraph
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. The revisions to the new edition are purposely kept minimal in order to retain the book's unique tone, wit, and charm. A new Glossary of the grammatical terms used in the book provides a convenient reference for readers. The discussion of pronoun use is revised to reflect the contemporary concern with sexist language. In addition, there are numerous slight revisions in the book itself which implement this advice. 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 has 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.See all Product description
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First written by Professor Will Strunk as a summation of English usage, composition, and form with words and expressions commonly misused, and later polished, expanded and transformed into a classic reference book thirty-eight years later by Strunk's student, E. B. White, 'The Elements of Style' does indeed contain 'rich deposits of gold.'
This book will help you to write better through eleven elementary rules such as using commas, dashes, and colons; eleven elementary principles of composition such as design, active voice and summaries; a few matters of form such as headings, exclamations and numerals; words and expressions commonly misused; an approach to style with a list of reminders; and a glossary of terms.
I read this book in one sitting, underlining key points on every page, wanting to take it all in so that I could immediately put the rules and style approaches into practice.
A must for any discerning writer - a book that will inspire you to write, move you to want to write every day, and help you to write well.
It’s also really small and light, so could be kept in a handbag at all times! I think anyone studying in the English language should have a copy of this, from as young as possible, so they have the confidence to use grammar correctly, and to be able to define their writing style.
When you have read this book, you will understand that a great deal of good writing is not just about crafting words with skill, it is about getting a clear idea of the logical relation between the ideas in every sentence. Once you understand that, you will not only create better prose but you will do it with less effort.
Naturally, it is a work of non-fiction (and about grammar no less!) So you won't find yourself on the edge of your seat or anything as you read it. But you will find it softly engaging and interesting and find yourself pulled into the mindset of those people who take grammar a good deal more seriously than most of us.
Particularly helpful is the fact that each recommendation comes with examples, so that you can see in practice what he is actually talking about, and that each part is not overly long, so you don't feel the need to reach for the metaphorical gun to put yourself out of your misery!
If you set aside the contents, introduction and appendix then this book is only 85 pages long, which I actually saw as a good thing. No doubt there are books on grammar that can quite happily be used as tables in their own right, but I wonder how many normal people actually read them?
It's a bit like Stephen Hawking's "Brief History of Time" in that owning a copy of such tomes doesn't automatically mean you have read them!
This one I have read. I honestly don't know if it improved my grammar much (oh ok I do...It didn't! I think you would need to make more than a casual study of this to really improve much). But the door is at least slightly ajar to seeing the light and perhaps, some day, also marveling at the difference between a conjunctive pronoun and a restrictive adverb (something which I have personally never heard of, but which I feel happy to allow some Grammar God to now lay claim too).
Overall, a book that is well worth your time.
If you found this review in any way useful I’d be grateful if you let me know by clicking the “helpful” button below :)