For the last 50 years, grammar and style have been learned from The Elements of Style. That's not necessarily a good thing.
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.> [more inside]
"I am getting to my goal, slowly but surly." Cover letters from Hell.