The Elements of Style 4th edition. William Strunk Jr., E

Review From User :

I remember, my Freshman year, sitting in the Music Building lounge waiting for my next class when Maryanne came crashing in, with an appropriate amount of chaos, announcing to all "Oh crap, I can't find my Strunk and White." Everyone else in the room apparently knew what she was talking about, but I sat with a blank stare. A few weeks latter my required English 101 professor insisted we hit the bookstore and buy 'The Elements of Style.' We were to treat it like the Holy Grail of grammar, carry it with us at all times, sleep with it, and consider it our eternal faithful lover. This would become the first of many copies of Strunk & White that have come and gone in my life. I think at one time I actually had four copies. Maryanne, made a similar pontification in the same lounge a month later "Oh no, I have lost my Boosey & Hawkes"* which I did understand. It may have sounded more erotic than Strunk & White but certainly less dramatic. For me Boosies and Hawksies came and went, but Strunks and Whites have remained constant.

This year, for my birthday, I received yet another copy. Only this edition is hardback and Illustrated! At first I thought: how queer can this be It has got to be a mistake. It's a grammar book! This had to be a novel, a book on fashion, or something sharing a name. Nope. Same Strunk & White - only this time with pictures.

Over the years, I have acquired other books on grammar (even one on Pittsburgh diction-go figure) but none can compare. The Elements of Style is concise, easy to understand and practically perfect. It's the best. Ever.

And a very clever artist has figured out how to illustrate sentence fragments, misused words, the hyphen, participle phrases and lots of other teeth gritting English stumbling blocks-in a very Magritte sort of way.

Yet, there is one thing, even the most excellent book, won't be able to do, as, my friends will attest, and this, would be, comma abuse, of which, I am the Master.

*It's a Music Publisher

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