William Strunk Jr.
ISBN: 0205313426
Read: 10/1/2016
Pages: 105
Rating: 6.5/10
View on Amazon
Reading Ease: Reading Time:2 hours

The elements of style is a guide to set your writing voice free by removing obstacles, like bad grammar, misuse of words, and guiding you with a set of fundamental rules and writing reminders to make it easier for the reader to hear you through your words. This small and opinionated book can serve as a good reference, but I don't think it's the solution to all your writing troubles. Digital Media has disrupted some rules in this book which gave it an outdated feel for some sections as writers are competing for reader's attention, breaking standard rules that rely more on psychological biases than classical grammatical structure. Culture continues to evolve, new rules form and with it style.

Notetable Quotes

“Omit needless words.”William Strunk Jr.
“To achieve style, begin by affecting none.”E.B. White
“The mind travels faster than the pen; consequently, writing becomes a question of learning to make occasional wing shots, bringing down the bird of thought as it flashes by. A writer is a gunner, sometimes waiting in the blind for something to come in, sometimes roaming the countryside hoping to scare something up.”E.B. White
“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.”William Strunk Jr.
“When a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter. Thus, brevity is a by-product of vigor.”William Strunk Jr.
“Consciously or unconsciously, the reader is dissatisfied with being told only what is not; the reader wishes to be told what is... If your every sentence admits a doubt, your writing will lack authority.”William Strunk Jr.

Motivations to Read

I have had numerous recommendations to read this classic book. A major motivation to pick it up was it's focus of style as I want to work on developing my writing voice.

3 Reasons to Read

  • Practical advice on improving writing skills.
  • Learn how to cultivate your writing voice.
  • Rules for concise writing.
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