Friday, October 23, 2009


If you are ok at generating prose but looking for a way to improve your product, a classic book worth the read is The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White. Of the many short notes in praise of the book listed on the amazon page, I liked this particular one the best.

"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

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