Nowadays, one can easily find a practical guide, manual, or tutorial for almost any activity—well, maybe except making Molotov cocktails, but I guess even in this case, you need to know where to search. Plumbing, cooking, babysitting—whatever it is you need to do, you’ll find a guide on it. Thinking this way, I suddenly got an idea, “Why not remind folks about a legendary writing craft tutorial?” So, I present you with, “The Elements of Style.” Published almost a century ago, it still contains precious advice many modern writing tutorials are based on.
Written by William Strunk Jr., “The Elements of Style” contains information important for any writer. Although there were (and still are) numerous debates about the book, it is hard to ignore its value. For an amateur writer, it can become a priceless clue to omit secret pitfalls of writing; for a professional, this book may provide a different perspective on craft.
Anyways, “The Elements of Style” is a book you should read regardless of your skill. “Make every word tell,” “Prefer standard over offbeat,” “Omit needless words,” and other well-known rules of writing belong to the book’s author; these, as well as other useful recommendations, you will find in this book. In its original publication, “The Elements of Style” also contained principles of composition, and the examples of commonly misused words and expressions.
I’ve read an article where “The Elements of Style” was called “a little book with big ambitions.” Indeed, sometimes William Strunk seems to have had tried to reduce the rules of writing to a list of do’s and don’ts, as if there was one ultimate and correct way to write. With some of Strunk’s statements, I would argue or disagree—like, when he talks about “useless words” he sounds like an author should get rid of all the words that do not convey meaning or move the plot forward; in this case, however, writing would consist only of nouns and verbs.
But anyways, “The Elements of Style” is a book you should pay attention to.
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