Omit Needless Words
March 21, 2009 5:17 PM Subscribe
posted by ericb (89 comments total)
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In 1919 while at Cornell University future children's author, essayist and New Yorker
magazine editor Elwyn Brooks (E.B.) White
took heed of the advice of his English professor, William Strunk, Jr.
, to "omit needless words
" in his writing. Strunk advised such -- and more -- to his students in a self-published compositional guide known on campus as "the Little Book." In 1935 his pamphlet was revised and published under the title The Elements and Practice of Composition
. In 1957, 11 years after Strunk's death, White wrote a nostalgic article about his professor and his grammar and style guide for the New Yorker
. Persuaded two years later by Macmillan editor Jack Case to revise and expand Strunk's manual, White co-authored the book The Elements of Style (New York Times review
, June 9, 1959] often referred to as Strunk and White
. Since its publication the book has sold more than 10 million copies. The literary world is now celebrating the book's golden anniversary
Let us not forget the recent musical
nor the The Elements of Style Illustrated
by Maira Kalman.