Just wanted to remind everyone of the stupendous design a banner for Anita's blog contest. The winner will receive a $50 gift card to a bookstore of their choice. Entries must be received by midnight (of your time zone) on February 17, 2010.
And now for the grammar giblets. Well, they're not really giblets. I just felt like using that word. The other day I came across a copy of The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White. Yes, this is the same E.B. White that wrote Charlotte's Web.
Interesting Snippets from the Introduction of The Elements of Style:
William Strunk, Jr. was actually E.B. White's college professor in 1919 at Cornell University. Back then, The Elements of Style, was fondly called the "Little Book," and was a small volume of grammatical rules and guidelines. Later, in 1957 Macmillan commissioned E.B. White to revise it for the college market.
The Elements of Style was a book that I was forced to buy in college. And I don't think I even read it. But since then, I've come to realize that it's an indispensable tool for learning what I call usable grammar, principles of composition, and an approach to style.
Here are some style giblets from the The Elements of Style:
Do not overwrite
Rich, ornate prose is hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating.
Do not explain too much
It is seldom advisable to tell all. Be sparing, for instance, in the use of adverbs after "he said," "she replied," and the like: "he said consolingly"; "she replied grumblingly." Let the conversation itself disclose the speaker's manner or condition.
The truth is...The fact is.... A bad beginning for a sentence. If you feel you are possessed of the truth, or of the fact, simply state it. Do not give it advance billing.
I just love how to-the-point The Elements of Style is. It' even hilarious at time, but it is has undoubtedly become my writing bible. If you don't have it...and you want to be a writer....go buy it...now.*
* Just want to clarify that this post is not endorsed by Mcmillan nor will I receive any compensation from the sale of this book.