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The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style

Geschrieben von William Strunk und E. B. White

Erzählt von Frank McCourt


The Elements of Style

Geschrieben von William Strunk und E. B. White

Erzählt von Frank McCourt

Bewertungen:
4.5/5 (61 Bewertungen)
Länge:
4 Stunden
Freigegeben:
Jan 1, 2007
ISBN:
9781428193802
Format:
Hörbuch

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Beschreibung

The Elements of Style has long been a valued and beloved resource for all writers. Hailed for its directness and clever insight, this unorthodox textbook was born from a professor’s love for the written word and perfected years later by one of his students—famed author E.B. White. Ever since its first publication in 1959, writers have turned to this book for its wise and accessible advice.

Freigegeben:
Jan 1, 2007
ISBN:
9781428193802
Format:
Hörbuch

Auch als verfügbar...

Auch als buch verfügbarBuch

Über den Autor

William Strunk Jr. was an American professor of English at Cornell University and the author of The Elements of Style. After revision and enlargement by his former student E. B. White, it became a highly influential English usage and composition guide during the late twentieth century.  


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  • (5/5)
    A classic I first read in college -- one that has informed my work ever since. Its embrace of brevity is admirable, and in the age of the Internet, more relevant than ever.
  • (5/5)
    A short, easy-to-read book that anyone who wants to use the written word to communicate with anyone else should take to heart and memorize. It isn't hard and it covers the basics -- where the punctuation goes and why, what are the essential parts of constructing a sentence, how to avoid bloated, nonsensical paragraphs -- it's all there. And it isn't all that long. The whole book has less than 200 pages and a LOT Of white space, so this is no daunting challenge. It can be read in under 2 hours, even if you take notes. It is easy to mark for future reference, too, if you forget something (and no points taken off for checking before using that semicolon).

    I recall during my not-short-enough stint as a professional proofreader that I often wanted to throw copies of this book at the authors and line editors when I found dozens of comma splices, run-on-sentences, verbless sentences, senseless constructions, and repetitive word use (we will just skip the whole "passive verb" thing for now -- I realize that's more of an addiction and requires a 12-step program, sort of like ellipses addiction and apostrophe abuse) in work that was supposed to be heading for the printer. This book can't save you from typos, but it can help you avoid full-out, no-excuse errors.

    Reading this book will not make you a grammar Nazi. It will not make you appear strange to your friends, give you understanding of Ezra Pound, or make your walk into the waves like Virginia Woolf. It will save you some embarrassment and stop people who judge you on your writing (like me) from rolling their eyes at you.
  • (4/5)
    Best book on writing I have read so far! concise and easy to understand...
  • (5/5)
    Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, is a short, concise guide to effective writing. This short guide covers everything from basic grammatical usage to composition, but it is more than just a guide to good writing. The book is filled with provocative axioms to keep in mind while writing. Because writing is a form of communication, a hallmark of it is to be succinct.There is an overwhelming emphasis in this guide on clear, concise writing. “When a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter. Thus, brevity is a by-product of vigor.” (p. 19). The best-known writers—Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare are mentioned—grab the reader’s attention by being “specific, definite, and concrete” and use words to create pictures (p. 21) in order to create impactful writing. It is always important to use the active voice in writing and to avoid conditionals such as should, could, and would, in order to prevent a piece of writing from sounding as though it lacks authority. The authors therefore recommend rewriting and revising and to “ruthlessly delete the excesses” (p. 72).Composition is a major element in creating clear, readable writing. To be effective, writing must be organized and follow a specific plan—although that plan may not always follow the order of a writer’s thought process. However, it forces the writer to think; “the act of composition, or creation, disciplines the mind” (p. 70).In the course of their writing, writers end up revealing something about themselves and their identity, and this is what makes good writing stand out. A writer develops their style through practice and patience. EB White suggests that the writer first place themselves in the background, so that a sense of style can be achieved by first having none. “Style is the writer, and therefore what you are, rather than what you know, will at last determine your style” (p. 84).Although the authors are very definite in their opinions, they present them with humor in some places, preventing this book from becoming too pedantic. It is also important to consider that this guide is not the last word in what is “correct” writing or style; “the shape of our language is not rigid” (p. 39) and that “there is no satisfactory explanation of style, no infallible guide to good writing, no assurance that a person who thinks clearly will be able to write clearly, no key that unlocks the door, no inflexible rule by which writers may shape their course” (p. 66). However, The Elements of Style is an invaluable guide that gives a reader advice on how to think about their writing, how to write clear and concise prose, and how to achieve a unique sense of style.
  • (5/5)
    Whenever I write (this line included), I make use of something I read in this book.
  • (4/5)
    Is this a flawed book?Of course. The style of prose it advocates was already out of date when it was published. It presents the taste of its authors' as inviolable laws, leading to painful contortions in the written language of those who try to follow it.As the previous sentence indicates, even in matters of simple punctuation I do not agree with The Elements of Style.And yet much of the advice is still solid. Even if you disagree with Strunk and White, it is better to have consciously rejected a rule than to have never considered the matter. There is also a surprising playfulness with language that appears between dour pronunciations. This side of The Elements of style was unknown to me prior to reading it, seemingly having been missed by both its detractors and fanatics.
  • (5/5)
    I can see why this is a classic. Short and to the point, this book is must for all writers. This title will be by my side whenever I write. Buy it! Learn it! Master it!
  • (4/5)
    The Elements of Style, or as some colloquially have called it "Strunk and White," is a style book originally written by William Strunk, and then subsequently modified by E. B. White. It act, today, as the primordial style book upon which more modern style books are based.It's still worth a read, as it won't take up that much more time to review. My copy, which had eye-chart style text, was about 50 pages. A more readable copy may be closer to 100. Still, that's small potatoes with respect to reading books. In fact, you may have already read this book if you've taken any of most American high school composition classes.If you have been looking to improve your writing, and not make it seem too simplistic, yet at the same time, not make it seem too pompous, then this is an excellent place to start. However, my personal recommendation is to read every single notable style book you can get your hands on, so that you may take all these recommendations into account before developing your own, unique, style.
  • (4/5)
     This is one of the most important reference books for any student to own. I used it frequently during my college days, even still pull it down from the shelf from time to time. To the point, clearly written, it really is the perfect guide to writing.
  • (5/5)
    A must have for any who consider themselves or aspire to be a writer... even those who wish to write "creatively" should know Strunk and White's rules by heart before they set about breaking them in the name of art.
  • (4/5)
    This little book is a great reminder of how easy it is to write in clear, plain English, but how it is just as easy to stumble into common pitfalls. Concrete, prescriptive and short, this book is a great quick reference. Witty and sometimes downright funny examples keep the reader's interest up. I will definitely have this handy little book by my side at the office. Administrative mumble jumble has become too common for me to fall prey to it. This will help me stay on the straight path!
  • (3/5)
     From a writer as an ode to his late teacher, it's a great pocket book reference/words of wisdom for writing in any medium. Does what it sets out to do—clearly—and that's about it.
  • (5/5)
    Everyone thinks of this as a book for writers, but today, most of us are. We write to communicate through email, memos & letters. Everyone can benefit by reading this book. It looks quite short & slim, but that is deceiving, like Kern & Ritchie's book on C. They fit a LOT into a small package & it takes practice & referral to get the basics down.
  • (5/5)
    If you write anything, for any reason, ever, you should read this book repeatedly. Strunk and White lay out logical, easily-understood rules for clear and effective prose. The rules cover punctuation, parts of speech, sentence and paragraph structure, and spelling, not in exhaustive detail, but in a way that makes it easy to remember. The advice is solid and sound. The book includes a glossary at the end; if you need a refresher on grammatical terminology, start there first and then read the book. Strunk and White assume the reader is conversant in the parts of speech, and I found myself a bit at sea, since the last real grammar instruction I had was in 1992.My edition is the one illustrated by Maira Kalman, and while the illustrations are whimsical and entertaining, they are more or less the visual equivalent of what the book suggests one not do with one's prose. Rarely do they elucidate any point made by the authors; frequently, they are either obscure themselves, or obscure the authors' points. As nice-looking as this edition is, I'd probably go for something less frilly if I ever needed to replace it.If you write, this book should be on your desk. It's concise, engaging, and an excellent resource.
  • (5/5)
    The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White is a classic that should be in every writer's library. It is full of good guidance, practical examples, and useful advice. More than just a reference book it should be reread at least once a year.
  • (4/5)
    There must be some structure to language. We must agree on some aspects of it, and creating rules and definitions around those mutual agreements helps to foster intelligibility throughout the language.Likewise, this agreement to abide by these rules means that we can teach communication. This does not mean only in the case of children, but it certainly simplifies it for them. This also means that writers can continue to learn, to interact, and to write understandably and not wastefully.We take these rules from traditions, but also from common sense. Strunk's rulings on word use (especially amongst words with similar meanings) are based on the root words, and the original meanings. Strunk means to separate these similar words so that instead of synonyms, we have two similar but precise words.This also prevents confusion, as various English dialects may take these words in different ways, but all share the same roots.However, language changes constantly, so regulating it and placing rules on it is difficult. Many feel that it stifles creativity, or that it places hegemonic power in the hands of the elite. One benefit of this regulation is that we can read Shakespeare today with little trouble.Dictionaries came into popularity around the time of Shakespeare, as did the study of philology. We have more trouble reading Chaucer, even though only two-hundred years separate Chaucer and Shakespeare, while twice that length separates Shakespeare from us.The work of Strunk and White is not to close off language, nor to set it absolutely free, but to make a linguistic analysis of its forms, meanings and changes, but one that the layman can appreciate. The work is somewhat dated by today's standards, but this actually provides the perfect example for many of the book's observations on the mutability of language.It likewise supports the assertion that language may change, but not as much as you might think. Strunk and White is just as useful to an author today as it was when it was compiled.It is light-hearted and often humorous, and presents language and communication in a thoughtful way. Any writer should come away from this book with a new respect for language, and with a keener eye for seeing their own writing.While the book sometimes seems severe in its regulations, this is only because misuse is so rampant and so ugly. Similarly, someone might tell you "under no circumstances should you balance on a chair on the edge of the roof of a ten story building". This rule is perfectly reasonable, despite the fact that some well-trained, adventurous individuals are quite capable of this feat.The fact remains that for the majority, violating these simple rules will result in an unsightly mess. A talented and experienced writer can flaunt and even break the rules when it suits him. The greatest writers do, and this book gives examples of how and why they do it.However, rules are how we create meaning. Whether you follow them or break them, you must know them and understand how they work in order to communicate to your reader. You cannot subvert and idea unless you understand it, and you cannot communicate anything to your reader that doesn't have a basis in their experiences and understanding.There is no impressive act of creation that is not conscious and considered, because rebellion cannot happen in a void. It's the rule that proves the exception.
  • (2/5)
    The most important thing that I learnt from this book is that whatever I write, I could do so in half the words, with double the impact.So, here's the rub. I'm verbose. I love long words and even longer sentences (back when word processors started to include things like readability indexes and grammar checkers, the one thing they always said was 'your sentences are too long'!). And, thanks to this book, now I know why!This book is probably most useful to those who take a journalistic bent to their writing, but it can also help people like me who need to knock the corners off their writing.
  • (5/5)
    It is beyond me why schools insist on using anything else to teach grammar and style. My current copy is the 12th copy of it that I have had since I had the good fortune to run into it when I was a sophomore in high school.
  • (5/5)
    Classic. I remember seeing my first copy in seventh grade English class and thinking what a clever, handy little book. I think I've probably gone through a few copies of my own since then. Other style books may be bigger and cover more complex usage situations, but really, if you have Strunk and White the chances are good you can find an answer to your question.
  • (5/5)
    I find this a great resource for both teaching and reference. It is laid out in a practical and clear way, the examples and lessons are easy to understand and pithy. Someday, I will actually remember everything in it and then I will sound very educated and eloquent.
  • (2/5)
    This book is famous and well-loved by people who tend to be good writers anyway. Alas, the book's advice is somewhat dubious.
  • (5/5)
    If everybody in the world read this book before afflicting us with their writing, the world would be a better place. THE book on improving one's writing style.
  • (4/5)
    Excellent, if a bit stodgy at moments.
  • (5/5)
    A fantastic resource: simple yet exhaustive, in the best sense of the word. A must-have, must-read, must-consult-often for any writer.
  • (5/5)
    The Elements of Style is an invaluable reference to anyone who writes (everyone). Revisit it often and you will see its secrets permeate your writing. At 100 pages it fits in anyone's reading schedule and bookshelf.
  • (3/5)
    This is a great pocket style guide almost. It covers all of the basics and is good for looking up quick writing references. It is not nearly complete so it is only good for general information.
  • (4/5)
    I've written in LiberaryThing that I read this book from July 3th to July 6th 2008, but it's not really a book you read. It's a book you study over and over again. And use as a reference.And for that it's excellent. It's filled with solid advice and "rules", or directions, on how to write a better text.
  • (2/5)
    While not really the sacred text of written style that some American high school English teachers still try to make it, Elements of Style nevertheless remains a high watermark for literary style guides. It's slipping into irrelevancy as people cease to read and write books, alas.
  • (5/5)
    An absolute must-own for every writer. I've been teaching journalism/communications classes since 1986, and I've been recommending this book to students every semester.
  • (5/5)
    I firmly believe that everyone who plans to attend school past the ninth grade needs to own a copy of this book, and read it cover to cover at least once. It's not exactly a gripping read, but so many common mistakes could be avoided if the general public would at least skim this classic work. And really, it's not as boring as you would think. In fact, some parts are downright amusing.