My review of “The Elements of Style”, writen by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White.

The Elements of Style — William Strunk Jr., E. B. White The Elements of Style — William Strunk Jr., E. B. White

When I read “On Writing”, I saw Stephen King reference “The Elements of Style” a few times, so I bought it and put it in my to-read-list. This is a book about English and how to write good English. This is not a work of fiction, nor is it a technical book in the sense I usually use in my reviews.

In “The Elements of Style”, you’ll first be reminded about elementary rules of usage (for example: one must add an ’s to form the possessive singular of nouns, or must not join independant clauses with a comma). Then, you’ll find a section on composition, followed by a few matters of form. Then comes a nice section about words and expressions commonly misused.

The book ends with a great section on style. There, you’ll read you should not overwrite nor overstate. You should use orthodox spelling. You should not inject opinion and you should prefer the standard to the offbeat. And many other pieces of advice.

45 If you want to write good English (better than mine?), reading this short book should help you. Then, all you need is to practice ;-). I have to admit I did buy this book more out of curiosity than purely to write good English, but I liked reading it and I’ve noticed several ideas that apply to French writing too – I’m French, BTW.

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