Literary Birthday – 1 July – William Strunk


William Strunk was born 1 July 1869 and died 26 September 1946

Five Quotes

  1. Instead of announcing what you are about to tell is interesting, make it so.
  2. 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.
  3. Vigorous writing is concise.
  4. 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. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
  5. Rich, ornate prose is hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating.

William Strunk was an American professor of English at Cornell University. He was the author of the The Elements of Style. A former student of his, E.B. White, revised and enlarged the book and it became a highly influential guide to English usage.

by Amanda Patterson