Monday, January 16, 2006

The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style
Originally uploaded by perichoresis.

The Elements of Style is now out in an illustrated edition. This should be a boon for the blogging community. Collectively, we are in need of a few reminders, and the pith and concision of Strunk and White can be a guide to us all. I am learning a few things as I re-read this classic.

As I look back at this last paragraph, I wonder which "element" I've neglected, which grammatical rule I've broken. This in itself is a good thing.

I confess: I'm a sucker for classics re-pristinated. For example, Paradise Lost was recently reissued in an illustrated version. It includes a forward by Philip Pullman, another favorite author. I bought it. Also W.S. Merwin's new translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight . The only exception to this rule is new translations of Dante (although I did purchase Merwin's Purgatoril).

My new resolution for 2006 will be to publish on this blog in such a way that Strunk would be, if not proud, then at least approving.


  1. I thought you might enjoy reading (if you have not already read) this review of "Elements of Style" the opera. (Technically, the musical piece is not an opera; it is a song cycle.) Here's a link:

    On a sadder note, I have read that someone (I trust it is not in this volume) has seen fit to again update the classic. I cannot remember where I read that news, and the Internet has been no help. But we should all beware.

    Dwight P

  2. The version with illustrations is the original one edited by E.B. White and written by Strunk, otherwise known as Strunk and White.

    I will take a look at the opera.


    I had a friend in college who wanted to call his autobiography "Drunk and White: The Elements of Style."

    Ah, good times...