- Paperback: 105 pages
- Publisher: Pearson; 4th edition (August 2, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 020530902X
- ISBN-13: 978-0205309023
- Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.3 x 7.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2,614 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition 4th Edition
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"...a marvellous and timeless little book... Here, succinctly, elegantly and without fuss are the essentials of writing clear, correct English." John Clare, "The Telegraph"
From the Back Cover
Some acclaim for previous editions:
"Buy it, study it, enjoy it. It's as timeless as a book can be in our age of volubility."
The New York Times
"No book in shorter space, with fewer words, will help any writer more than this persistent little volume."
The Boston Globe
"White is one of the best stylists and most lucid minds in this country. What he says and his way of saying it are equally rewarding."
The Wall Street Journal
"The book remains a nonpareil: direct, correct, and delightful."
The New Yorker
". . . Should be the daily companion of anyone who writes for a living, and for that matter, anyone who writes at all."
Greensboro (N.C.) Daily News
"This excellent book, which should go off to college with every freshman, is recognized as the best book of its kind we have."
St. Paul Dispatch Pioneer Press
"It's hard to imagine an engineer or a manager who doesn't need to express himself in English prose as part of his job. It's also hard to imagine a writer who will not be improved by a liberal application of The Elements of Style."
Telephone Engineer & Management
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The current revised edition, as of April 2016, is 'The Elements of Style', Fourth Edition, with the silver cover (the Longman's hardback 50th Ann. Ed. is also the same text, just in fancy packaging).
If you're looking for the writing style guide that is in common use, The Elements of Style (4th Edition), by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White is the correct version, the one that Time Magazine listed as "one of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923" in their August 30, 2011 issue.
I made the mistake of ordering this paperback edition a few years ago when I was in a rush and ordered it along with another copy of author Stephen King's On Writing, as both are what some of us consider essentials for writers. Simply put, I should have read the details more carefully... mea culpa.
There are Kindle reissues of the 1918 edition, most notably THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE (UPDATED 2011 EDITION) The All-Time Bestselling Book on Writing English Newly Edited (Special 2011 Edition) The Elements of Style OVER 10 MILLION COPIES SOLD! [Revised], which notes that it is newly revised and edited by Chris Hong, who is listed in the electronic flyleaf as a former editor at Harvard University, and bears a © 2011 The Elements of Style Press notation. This particular edition does have a slightly better layout on the Kindle, and the table of contents is well hyperlinked, but no mention is made of original author William Strunk, Jr., except for his name on the flyleaf.
Among the other Kindle editions are The Elements of Style (Original Edition), with the quill on it's cover is basic, and it costs under a couple of dollars. But if you're going for basic, the The Elements of Style edition with its generic cover is a no-cost freebie. And there are other Kindle editions if you search.
The problem with these 1918 editions is that the writing style is dated. Original author Strunk had died in 1946, and in 1959, the publishers commissioned writer and author E. B. White, well known for his Charlotte's Web, that classic for children, to revise the 41-year-old text. This was fitting as Strunk had been one of White's professors at Cornell. White's rework of the book was extremely well received, and further editions of the work followed in 1972, 1979, and 1999. White's expansion and modernization of Strunk's original became informally known as Strunk & White. As to whether it's considered a valid part of a writer's bookshelf, more than ten million copies of the three editions of Strunk & White have been sold.
The history of this writing manual can be found in Mark Garvey's Stylized: A Slightly Obsessive History of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style, which was published in 2009, an excellent book in its own right.
So if you're looking for the real Strunk & White, The Elements of Style (4th Edition), by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White, is one you want, and it's only available in paper editions, except for the rare The Elements of Style: 50th Anniversary Edition, which is now a collectable. Otherwise, you may enjoy one of the Kindle editions listed here, but think of them more as an interesting background than as contemporary writing style references.