Friday, February 4, 2011

The Elements of Style

I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to one of my favorite little books on writing. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White is not a large text, and it isn't something that'll tell you how to be the next big name author, but it is a nice collection of style pointers that every writer should know.

The book goes over a lot of commonly misused words, it explains the proper way to use a comma, and it also gives many pointers on basic writing composition. You'd be surprised how many "classes" these days are actually teaching things contrary to these classical elements of style, and I think it is a shame.

That being said, even I do not completely adhere to every rule given in this book. However, I do take note of them, and follow most of them most of the time. There are certain elements which I follow to the letter, such as the extra comma when separating 3 or more terms with a single conjunction (such as this, that, and another thing).

I recommend that anyone involved with the publishing industry (writers, editors, proofreaders, etc...) get a copy of this book and read it. Even if you don't follow all of the style elements, you should at least be aware of them, and recognize the value of traditional composition.

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