The Elements of Style: 50th Anniversary Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From the Back Cover
You know the authors’ names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. And now The Elements of Style—the most widely read and employed English style manual—is available in a specially bound 50th Anniversary Edition that offers the title's vast audience an opportunity to own a more durable and elegantly bound edition of this time-tested classic.
Offering the same content as the Fourth Edition, revised in 1999, the new casebound 50th Anniversary Edition includes a brief overview of the book's illustrious history. Used extensively by individual writers as well as high school and college students of writing, it has conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. This new deluxe edition makes the perfect gift for writers of any age and ability level.
Fifty Years of Acclaim for The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
“I first read Elements of Style during the summer before I went off to Exeter, and I still direct my students at Harvard to their definition about the difference between 'that' and 'which.' It is the Bible for good, clear writing.”
-- Henry Louis Gates Jr.
“For writers of all kinds and sizes the world begins and ends with Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. Only something to actually write about trumps the list of what is required to put words together in some kind of coherent way. I treasure its presence in my life and salute its fifty years of glory and accomplishment.”
-- Jim Lehrer
“The Elements of Style remains an unwavering beacon of light in these grammatically troubled times. I would be lost without it.”
-- Ann Patchett
"To the extent I know how to write clearly at all, I probably taught myself while I was teaching others -- seventh graders, in Flint, Michigan, in 1967. I taught them with a copy of Strunk & White lying in full view on my desk, sort of in the way the Gideons leave Bibles in cheap hotel rooms, as a way of saying to the hapless inhabitant: ‘In case your reckless ways should strand you here, there's help.’ S&W doesn't really teach you how to write, it just tantalizingly reminds you that there's an orderly way to go about it, that clarity's ever your ideal, but -- really -- it's all going to be up to you."
-- Richard Ford
“The Elements of Style never seems to go out of date. Its counsel is sound and funny, wise and unpretentious. And while its precepts are a foundation of direct communication, Strunk and White do not insist on a way of writing beyond clear expression. The rest is up to the imagination, the intelligence within.”
-- David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker
“It’s the toughness—the irreverence and implicit laughter—that attracted me to the little book when I was seventeen. I fell in love with Strunk & White’s loathing for cant and bloviation, the ruthless cutting of crap, jargon, and extra words. For me, that skeptical directness included a tacit permission by The Elements of Style to break its rules on occasion: an alloy of generosity in the blade, a grace I still admire and still learn from.”
-- Robert Pinsky
“In the quest for clarity, one can have no better guides than Strunk and White. For me, their book has been invaluable and remains essential.”
-- Dan Rather
"Eschew surplusage! A perfect book."
"Not until I started teaching writing and I reread The Elements of Style did I realize that
most everything I would be teaching young writers, and everything I would be learning myself as a writer, was contained between the covers of this slim, elegant, wise little book."
-- Julia Alvarez
“Strunk and White seared their way into my brain long ago, and I benefit from them daily.”
-- Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics
“Since high school, I have kept a copy of this book handy. That should be unnecessary. I should, by now, have fully internalized The Elements of Style. But sometimes I get entangled in a paragraph that refuses to be ‘clear, brief, bold.’ I dip back into The Elements of Style and am refreshed.
After Scott Simon interviewed me on NPR about whether the word ‘e-mail’ needs a hyphen (yes, it does), some listeners, including friends of mine, wondered why I had answered in the affirmative when asked, in passing, ‘Are you a drunken white man?’ Those listeners misheard. ‘Strunk and White man’ was what Scott said.”
-- Roy Blount Jr.
“Strunk & White--writing's good-natured law firm--still contains enough sparkling good sense to clean up the whole bloviating blogosphere."
-- Thomas Mallon
“I used Strunk -- that’s what we called it, Strunk -- as a student at Berkeley fifty years ago. I didn't know that it was new, and that we were the first generation to be educated in The Elements of Style. I got a firm foundation in the English language, learned to write basically, and could depict the realistic world. Then I was able to become an impressionist and expressionist.”
-- Maxine Hong Kingston
“Strunk and White's gigantic little book must be the most readable advice on writing ever written. Side by side with Roget, Shakespeare, the Bible, and a dictionary, it's an essential for every writer's shelf.”
-- X.J. Kenned...
About the Author
E. B. White was a student in Professor Strunk's class at Cornell, and used the small volume himself, during which time he became respectful and appreciative of its pithy and indispensable writing advice. Commissioned by Macmillan to revise the book, White edited and created new material for the 1959 and 1972 editions of The Elements of Style.
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- ISBN-10 : 0205632645
- Hardcover : 128 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0205632640
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.5 x 8.1 inches
- Publisher : Longman (October 25, 2008)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #178,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Back when I worked for a newspaper, one of my editors was trying to get a review of mine on a particular page, which meant he needed to edit a little bit out ... he came back and told me - I couldn't edit your review. Every word was essential. - YES. Thank you, Strunk & White.
Today, I am working on a fairly complex document with another lawyer in the office. She's editing my work and I am editing hers. She made a "correction" to which E.B. White would surely have objected. I had no Elements of Style here at my office to prove this to her.
Hello, Kindle version! Thank goodness for it! (I'm now ordering another paperback copy for my office too.)
These rules follow the same guidelines. Simple, direct sentences are only right these days because enough people agree upon it. When the style changes, so will the usefulness of this book.
Just a thought
In my own book, I observe how atrocious I found a lot of the writing I reviewed as the Program Manager for the Anti-Harassment Unit within a federal agency. Many employees within the government could really benefit from this work!
* Short and concise
* Good examples
* Lots of information covered in a small period of time
* Technical grammatical language used
* Many statements are presented as absolutes (i.e. NEVER do 'this'), when in reality they are more situational
* HORRIBLE formatting on the Kindle
I saw that this book is highly recommended and regarded, decided to look it up, and found that it was free to download on the Kindle. I went ahead and downloaded it and read it in one sitting. Unfortunately much of it was almost incoherent to me due to the technical language used (be prepared to understand what the third person of a past participle conjunctive adverb is). Someone better versed in grammatical language surely would have a greater appreciation of the book than I.
It is hard to even judge the helpfulness of the content of the book due to the subjective nature of the tips provided. Many of these tips are even quite obvious, such as the famous statement to "omit needless words". How ever would I have figured that out? The author even admits that many of these rules can be broken in proper moments, and master writers disregard the rules occasionally to their advantage. Because of this, it seems that simply reading from the masters would be immeasurably more helpful than this manual.
Lastly, the book shows its age on a few sections, notably the 'common spelling errors' section. I'm sure this was a much praised list prior to the advent of spell checker.
Top reviews from other countries
To give a few examples:
'Less than ten' is incorrect, whilst 'fewer than ten' is correct.
'This man, who is my friend,' is better written 'This man, my friend,'
'I should like tea' is usually correct, 'I would like tea' is usually not.
'Worthwhile' is best avoided altogether - not exactly incorrect but poor style.
And so it goes on.
I found this book moderately useful, although it does seem to concentrate on American English rather than UK English. Some of the advice doesn't apply on this side of the Atlantic. For example, we tend not to use `most' as an abbreviation of `almost' so we're not going to make the mistake of saying `most everyone' as many Americans do.
Some reviewers commented that the kindle version was hard to read, but I didn't have any problems with it. I think it must have been reformatted as a result of some early negative reviews.
On the whole this is a great book for anyone who's got into sloppy writing habits (like me). Stephen King recommends it in his book `On Writing' - and recommendations don't get much stronger than that. It's probably fair to summarise the message of the book by saying `express yourself in as few words as possible and be as precise as possible'.
Each chapter consists of an instruction for an element of language, followed by two or more examples. The editor has chosen to format both the instructions and the examples in the same font, with the same indentation. You'll soon find it very difficult to read, even more so if you want to use it as a reference book while you write or edit.
This edition omits the name of the editor or the publisher, perhaps in shame at the insult they've done to an excellent work. I would return my copy if possible.
William Strunck Jr. The Elements of style . Kindle Edition.
The public domain edition was published in 1918, and is half the length of recent editions. It predates recent language, predates political correctness, and arguably predates the shorter modern form of `plain English'.
Buyers should be aware that they are not getting the modern Strunk and White edition (especially when Amazon have pooled reviews for modern editions with the 1918 version!).
At a mere 60 pages, the 1918 Strunk edition is the most concise English language style guide. This is a major advantage when compared with more recent, more wordy style guides.