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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Elements of Style
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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(3 star)show all reviews
on September 25, 2013
I am not a native English speaker, but my english as second language is quite good. I read the reviews for this book, and people said this book is really well organized. For me, it is not as well-organized as I expected.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2009
I used to adore this brief book, but have since re-evaluated its effectiveness and up-to-dateness, finding it wanting in both areas. I believe that Strunk wrote it in at the time of General Custer and E.B. White updated this book in the 1950's. (Note that a couple of key recommendations I used for years -- substituting "that" for "which" and keeping sentences in the "active", versus "passive" voice -- are both much too rigid, and frankly sometime flatly incorrect.)

For a truly effective, well-written, and up to date book seek the superior book titled Style: Toward Clarity and Grace by Joseph Williams.

Cheers.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2002
I read Strunk and White as part of the recommended summer reading list before starting law school, and I've since been subjected to a few law professors leading the class through the ritual worship of bowing down before it. It seems to me though a cliff's notes to basic English that you were supposed to learn in high school, combined with a few quirky recommendations: such as never to end a word with "s'," so you'd write "I kicked the Chalmers's dog" instead of "I kicked the Chalmers' dog;" and never to use the word "thrust" at all any more, for any purpose, because it inevitably conjures sexual imagery in the reader's mind. Other than that, it contains a decent guide to the all-important art of writing succinctly, one I've failed to master as you can tell by now, such as using short sentences and paragraphs and that flow together naturally. Somehow though, even at a slim and extremely well-crafted hundred-odd pages, it manages to be dull. Somewhere out there is the ideal writing manual, but I haven't yet found it. This will have to do in the meantime.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2001
and other than the spiffy new silver cover, the 4th edition of this excellent book has little to distinguish it from its predecessor. If you aspire to write well, you should read this book, and if you do not own a copy of the 3rd edition, by all means purchase this latest so-called revision. If, however, you already own a copy of the 3rd edition in serviceable condition, spend your hard-earned pennies elsewhere. I wish I had.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2003
A high school teacher told my class about seven years ago that this book would be a good investment. So I read it. I've heard people since I've purchased this book rave about it. First, a college grad or competent high-schooler should alrea be well-versed with the "info" in this book; so, second, it's not very elucidating on the speicfic troubles a wrier may run into. Three stars since it's a good "overview." I've always found Diana Hacker's A Writer's Reference very helpful, though it's kind of pricey, but, as they say, you get what you pay for. grammatical pun intended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2003
Strunk and White's book on style is small and to the point. The elements of style discussed are not necessarily applicable to modern creative writing. This book, no doubt, is helpful for writing formally-- such as formal essays, articals, and such. I didn't give it a full 5 stars because writing can be an art form as well as a tool, and for the most part this book treats it as a tool.
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