William Strunk, Jr. Quotes

Enjoy the top 53 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by William Strunk, Jr..

William Strunk, Jr. Quotes

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. —

Instead of announcing what you are about to tell is interesting, make it so.

— William Strunk, Jr.

When a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter. Thus, brevity is a by-product of vigor.

— William Strunk, Jr.

Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.

— 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.

It is an old observation that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric. When they do so, however, the reader will usually find in the sentence some compensating merit, attained at the cost of the violation. Unless he is certain of doing as well, he will probably do best to follow the rules. After he has learned, by their guidance, to write plain English adequate for everyday uses, let him look, for the secrets of style, to the study of the masters of literature.

— William Strunk, Jr.

Rich, ornate prose is hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating.

— William Strunk, Jr.

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.

Vigorous writing is concise.

— William Strunk, Jr.

The heel of Achilles

— William Strunk, Jr.

If you have received a letter inviting you to speak at the dedication of a new cat hospital, and you hate cats, your reply, declining the invitation, does not necessarily have to cover the full range of your emotions. You must make it clear that you will not attend, but you do not have to let fly at the cats. The writer of the letter asked a civil question; attack cats, then, only if you can do so with good humor, good taste, and in such a way that your answer will be courteous as well as responsive. Since you are out of sympathy with cats, you may quite properly give this as a reason for not appearing at the dedicatory ceremonies of a cat hospital. But bear in mind that your opinion of cats was not sought, only your services as a speaker. Try to keep things straight.

— William Strunk, Jr.

5. Do not join independent clauses by a comma.

— William Strunk, Jr.

Writers will often find themselves steering by stars that are disturbingly in motion.

— William Strunk, Jr.

The audience, which had at first been indifferent, became more and more interested.

— William Strunk, Jr.

Young writers often suppose that style is a garnish for the meat of prose, a sauce by which a dull dish is made palatable. Style has no such entity; it is nondetachable, unfilterable.

— William Strunk, Jr.

Try - Takes the infinitive: "try to mend it," not "try and mend it." Students of the language will argue that 'try and' has won through and become idiom. Indeed it has, and it is relaxed and acceptable. But 'try to' is precise, and when you are writing formal prose, try and write 'try to.

— William Strunk, Jr.

If every word or device that achieved currency were immediately authenticated, simply on the grounds of popularity, the language would be as chaotic as a ball game with no foul lines

— William Strunk, Jr.

Nice. A shaggy, all-purpose word to be used sparingly in formal composition

— William Strunk, Jr.

Every writer, by the way he uses the language, reveals something of his spirit, his habits, his capacities, his bias ... Avoid the elaborate, the pretentious, the coy, and the cute. Do not be tempted by a twenty-dollar word when there is a ten-center handy, ready and able.

— William Strunk, Jr.

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