Remember, it is no sign of weakness or defeat that your manuscript ends up in need of major surgery. This is a common occurrence in all writing, and among the best writers. William Strunk, Jr.
This book is intended for use in English courses in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature. It aims to give in a brief space the principal requirements of plain English style. It aims to lighten the task of instructor and student by concentrating attention (in Chapters II and III) on a few essentials, the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated. The numbers of the sections may be used as references in correcting manuscript. William Strunk, Jr.
Avoid fancy words....If you admire fancy words, if every sky is beauteous, every blonde curvaceous, every intelligent child prodigious, if you are tickled by discombobulate, you will have bad time Reminder 14. William Strunk, Jr.
This rule is difficult to apply; it is frequently hard to decide whether a single word, such as however, or a brief phrase, is or is not parenthetic. If the interruption to the flow of the sentence is but slight, the writer may safely omit the commas. But whether the interruption be slight or considerable, he must never omit one comma and leave the other. Such punctuation as William Strunk, Jr.
Consciously or unconsciously, the reader is dissatisfied with being told only what is not; the reader wishes to be told what is... If your every sentence admits a doubt, your writing will lack authority. William Strunk, Jr.
Do not, therefore, say "I feel nauseous," unless you are sure you have that effect on others. William Strunk, Jr.
If you use a colloquialism or a slang word or phrase, simply use it; do not draw attention to it by enclosing it in quotation marks. To do so is to put on airs, as though you were inviting the reader to join you in a select society of those who know better. William Strunk, Jr.
Rather, very, little, pretty -- these are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words. The constant use of the adjective little (except to indicate size) is particularly debilitating; we should all try to do a little better, we should all be very watchful of this rule, for it is a rather important one, and we are pretty sure to violate it now and then. William Strunk, Jr.
A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. William Strunk, Jr.
Rich, ornate prose is hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating. William Strunk, Jr.
If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud! William Strunk, Jr.