- Paperback: 52 pages
- Publisher: W L C; 1 edition (July 28, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1557427283
- ISBN-13: 978-1557427281
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,873 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Elements of Style 1st Edition
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"So friendly, so classic, so delightful . . . Kalman has taken 'the little book' and made it even more elegant and uplifting."
-Los Angeles Times
"While The Elements of Style has never lacked fans or dutiful adherents, appreciation for this slim volume has taken a turn toward the whimsical and even surreal."
-The New York Times
"The pictures are playful and subtle, which suits the spirit of this beloved bestseller."
-USA Today --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
"You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book's unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing. " --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
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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.
style. For that reason alone this book is well worth having. I say get it.
And what a celebration it is!
The first thing noticed is how familiar the original text is. The same outline format, the same structure, the same sage (and somewhat whimsical) advice that is in the current (4th) edition is there in the first--in all its unvarnished glory.
That is a glowing testament both to Mr. Strunk's genius and enduring power. Dr. Boyd K. Packer noted, "Refined substance combined with brevity are very difficult indeed to achieve." And Strunk was up to the task. Consider other style- and writing- guides, their quiddities and quillets, their hair-splitting and niggling, with the resulting volume. Then flip through this 1st edition, which maxes out at 52 pages. You see why this book is so popular.
And why it is so useful.
Even so, there are noticeable differences between the 1st and 4th editions. The first is the accruals to the text. The 3rd edition included an index by Lawrence W. Mazzeno; the fourth had glossary by Robert DiYanni. Both of these are welcome helps.
But some of the other accruals are not so helpful. White's introduction is helpful in explaining the whys and wherefores of "The Little Book," and about the man William Strunk, Jr. Roger Angell's foreword, thought interesting, is more for a book on motivating writers, such as "Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity" by Ray Bradbury. And Charles Osgood's afterword (really a testimonial) does not add anything to the text. Again, it does have a place *somewhere*, but not necessarily in this book.
As to White's revision of Strunk's text, almost all of the changes are needed. The spelling and exercise sections were excised and have not been missed."An Approach to Style," White's biggest inclusion, is helpful to floundering wordsmiths. And his philosophical discussion of what exactly is good writing spurs thought and discussion.
Yet, there is one exception. One section should have been left intact, "Section II: Elementary Principles of Composition." White kept most of Strunk's ideas, but excised the sections on outlining, and the paragraphs that were diagrammed. This is a pity, since the outline is a writer's crucial tool.
Ayn Rand ("Atlas Shrugged") celebrated outlining. She asserts, "No beginner should write without an outline. If I could enforce this as an absolute, I would. ... One reason for the dreadful articles in our media is that they are written without outlines, and thus fall apart structurally" ("The Art of Nonfiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers," Ch. 5).
So it is worth the price and than bother to track this edition down just for Strunk's comments on outlining. Everything else a writer would need is found in the current edition--suggestions, clarifications, and Strunkian motivation and celebration:
"Vigorous writing is concise ..."
NOTE: Since the 1st edition has passed into the public domain, Amazon.com has been bombarded with various reprint editions. ISBN: 978-9562916462 was used in this review. It is a photographic reprint of the original book. This adds to the excitement of reading, since we see the text as E. B. White--and even Strunk himself--used 100 years ago at Cornell. Other editions have reset type and text, and are easier on the eye. I prefer the reprint editions. The text tastes of authentic history.
And, of course, the current edition, either hardback (The Elements of Style (4th Edition)) or softback (The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition).
This is the same book that my English teachers suggested that we purchase to write all our papers for high school and college.
I use it in my novels and in my screenplay work to check my writing. I am so happy that Amazon had one as a replacement for the one I had a while back.
This is a must-have for all writers!
I gave it three stars so people would be more likely to read my review. DO NOT BUY THIS VERSION!! ISBN-13 9781537669649
* 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.
Most recent customer reviews
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