A famous manual that promotes plainness, simplicity, orderliness, and sincerity in writing, penned by an English professor who taught the author of Charlotte’s Webb, E.B. White, among others. Commonly known as the “little book”, it was printed privately by the author for his classes for years before it was published for classrooms and the public. Each rule is followed by plain examples in a sharp, eager voice.
A practical writing guide for the English language over a hundred years old is just about as dry as it sounds. At least half of the book is strict grammar rules, and the rest is an equally strict set of guidelines to foster concise and clear prose. From commas to hyphens to sentence fragments, if you like grammar and language, you’ll enjoy a reinforcement of the rules. Most of all, you’ll enjoy reading the rules from a pedantic and petulant old man. His enthusiasm and passion for teaching, and his distillation of a writing manual down to such a short and simple volume are what really make this volume an entertaining read.
Modestly updated from the original with word processors and female pronouns.
Recommended for writers who don’t mind, or even enjoy, grammar lessons!
“The mind travels faster than the pen; consequently, writing becomes a question of learning to make occasional wing shots, bringing down the bird of thought as it flashes by. A writer is a gunner, sometimes waiting in the blind for something to come in, sometimes roaming the countryside hoping to scare something up.”