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The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. Review

Title: The Elements of Style

Author: William Strunk Jr.

First published January 1, 1918

105 pages, Hardcover

Rating: 4.18


Carol Anshaw’s Carry the One is a poignant and beautifully written novel about the intertwining lives of Carmen and her siblings, following a tragic accident that changes their lives forever. Starting with a wedding reception and a fatal car accident, the novel delves into the lives of those involved, exploring the complexities of family, addiction, and guilt.

Anshaw’s eloquent writing style brings to life the everyday joys and tragedies of the characters’ lives, as they navigate through love affairs, parenthood, and the ups and downs of ordinary days. Carry the One is a powerful exploration of how one life can affect another, and how time and love can transform even the most flawed and damaged individuals.

Hailed by bestselling author Emma Donoghue as a “stunning, breakout achievement,” this novel is a must-read for anyone who appreciates the beauty of language and the complexities of human relationships.

About the Author

William Strunk Jr. taught English at Cornell University and co-authored The Elements of Style (1918) with E.B. White.

Editoral Review

In a time when language has been reduced to a series of acronyms, emojis and slang, readers looking to improve their writing skills, would be wise to pick up a copy of “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. First published on January 1, 1918, Strunk’s guidebook is a timeless classic that has remained relevant for over a century. The book is a concise and straightforward style guide that focuses on the fundamental principles of writing that every author, journalist or writer must know.

Strunk’s guidebook provides a wide range of recommendations to enhance the clarity, coherence, and overall effectiveness of the writing. Strunk’s book covers all the essential elements one needs to compose a well-written sentence, including proper punctuation, grammar, syntax and word choice.

The author enforces the rule that every word must carry its weight and avoid fluff or redundancy in writing. He argues that revision is an essential part of the writing process and encourages writers to be their own harshest critic, always seeking to improve their written work.

The Elements of Style contains practical advice on how to develop a writing style that is thoughtful, clear and engaging. Through examining simple examples, Strunk and his co-author E.B. White offer practical advice on how to structure sentences to make them more concise, open-ended and easier to understand.

They encourage precision and clarity in writing by advising writers to use active voice, avoid wordy phrases and to cut out excessive modifiers. Furthermore, Strunk stresses the importance of purpose in writing.

He makes it clear that it is imperative to take into consideration the audience, the message and the tone of the piece. He cautions writers to remove anything that detracts from the main idea or muddies the message.

The Elements of Style offers a comprehensive guide to effective writing that is easy to follow and apply in practice. Strunk’s approach is direct, humorous and practical, making it a must-read for writers looking to hone their craft.

The book’s timeless appeal can be seen in its continued influence on writers and speakers, including former President Barack Obama, who has publicly lauded its usefulness. In a society where clear and effective communication is critical, “The Elements of Style” remains as relevant today as it was when it was first published over 100 years ago.

While the book is an effective guide, some readers may find it overly prescriptive, with strict rules that might stifle creativity. However, Strunk’s goal is not to box up the writing process but to offer guidance on how to develop a style that is clear but has the flexibility to adapt to a writer’s voice.

Overall, “The Elements of Style” is an essential guidebook for anyone who wants to improve their writing skills. The concise style, practical advice, and engaging approach make it an enjoyable and informative read for writers of all levels.

I would give this book a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars for its timeless appeal and relevance in today’s world.