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The Elements of Style

By Jae Aquino

Introduction

The Elements of Style ("Strunk & White") is an American English writing style guide. It is one of the most influential and best-known prescriptive treatments of English grammar and usage in the United States. It originally detailed eight elementary rules of usage, ten elementary principles of composition, "a few matters of form," and a list of commonly misused words and expressions. Updated editions of the paperback book are often required reading for American high school and college composition classes. — Excerpted from The Elements of Style on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jae Aquino — Author & Visual Designer at Envato

1 Introductory

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

2 II. Elementary Rules of Usage

Follow this rule whatever the final consonant. Thus write, This is the usage of the United States Government Printing Office and of the Oxford University Press. Exceptions are the possessives of ancient proper names in -es and -is, the possessive Jesus' , and such forms as for conscience' sake, for righteousness' sake. But such forms as Achilles' heel, Moses' laws,

3 III. Elementary Principles of Composition

If the subject on which you are writing is of slight extent, or if you intend to treat it very briefly, there may be no need of subdividing it into topics. Thus a brief description, a brief summary of a literary work, a brief account of a single incident, a narrative merely outlining an action, the setting forth of a

4 IV. A Few Matters of Form

Leave a blank line, or its equivalent in space, after the title or heading of a manuscript. On succeeding pages, if using ruled paper, begin on the first line . Do not spell out dates or other serial numbers. Write them in figures or in Roman notation, as may be appropriate. A sentence containing an expression in parenthesis is punctuated,

5 V. Words and Expressions Commonly Misused

As noun, often loosely used in perfunctory writing about fashions, music, painting, and other arts: "an Oriental effect;" "effects in pale green;" "very delicate effects;" "broad effects;" "subtle effects;" "a charming effect was produced by." The writer who has a definite meaning to express will not take refuge in such vagueness.

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