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The Elements of Style - Strunk and

dogparktom
Posts: 112
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10/26/2009 7:32:12 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/26/2009 7:28:47 AM, dogparktom wrote:
Every person who writes should have a copy of "The Elements of Style" at hand.

http://www.nytimes.com...

Here is "The Elements of Style" for you to read:
http://www.bartleby.com...
PoeJoe
Posts: 3,822
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10/26/2009 4:11:03 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
The Elements of Style is a bit picky at times, but definitely rescued me from some bad habits.

I agree. Highly recommended.
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leet4A1
Posts: 1,986
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10/26/2009 4:45:40 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
It seems a bit outdated. Like in the section about often misspelled words, it says:

Write to-day, to-night, to-morrow (but not together) with hyphen.

Write any one, every one, some one, some time (except the sense of formerly) as two words.


I would never hyphenate "today" or "tonight", and would never make "anyone" or "someone" two words.
"Let me tell you the truth. The truth is, 'what is'. And 'what should be' is a fantasy, a terrible terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago. The 'what should be' never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no 'what should be,' there is only what is." - Lenny Bruce

"Satan goes to church, did you know that?" - Godsands

"And Genisis 1 does match modern science... you just have to try really hard." - GR33K FR33K5
PoeJoe
Posts: 3,822
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10/26/2009 5:01:04 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/26/2009 4:45:40 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
and would never make "anyone" or "someone" two words.

There are legitimate reasons to write "any one" and "some one." See: http://grammar.about.com...
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Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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10/26/2009 5:04:57 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/26/2009 5:01:04 PM, PoeJoe wrote:
At 10/26/2009 4:45:40 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
and would never make "anyone" or "someone" two words.

There are legitimate reasons to write "any one" and "some one." See: http://grammar.about.com...

Those are, in essence, different words.

Having a manual to write your native language is silly. Read moar books and you won't need it.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
PoeJoe
Posts: 3,822
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10/26/2009 5:42:15 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/26/2009 5:04:57 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/26/2009 5:01:04 PM, PoeJoe wrote:
At 10/26/2009 4:45:40 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
and would never make "anyone" or "someone" two words.

There are legitimate reasons to write "any one" and "some one." See: http://grammar.about.com...

Those are, in essence, different words.

Having a manual to write your native language is silly. Read moar books and you won't need it.

Reading and writing are two very different things. Our world is flooded with bad writing and grammar. Starbucks asks its customers to use "less" napkins. Road signs remind us to look our for "slow children." Want an example closer to home? Just take a look at this forum!

Even professional writing can be messed up. John Grisham's The Firm is filled with misused vocabulary. Hell, I've even heard President Obama mix up the subjective and objective cases.

Especially for writers starting out (e.g. yours truly), writing books can come in a lot of handy.
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Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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10/26/2009 5:53:47 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/26/2009 5:42:15 PM, PoeJoe wrote:
At 10/26/2009 5:04:57 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/26/2009 5:01:04 PM, PoeJoe wrote:
At 10/26/2009 4:45:40 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
and would never make "anyone" or "someone" two words.

There are legitimate reasons to write "any one" and "some one." See: http://grammar.about.com...

Those are, in essence, different words.

Having a manual to write your native language is silly. Read moar books and you won't need it.

Reading and writing are two very different things.
One is a consequence of the other.

Want an example closer to home? Just take a look at this forum!
Most internet bad grammar is deliberate. :).


Even professional writing can be messed up. John Grisham's The Firm
Grocery store bestsellers have poor grammar because of carelessness, not lack of knowledge-- they aren't supposed to be too meticulous.

Hell, I've even heard President Obama mix up the subjective and objective cases.
He is speaking. Speaking is spur of the moment. A manual will not help you there.
(I was tempted to say "Even?" Woul've been more fun.)
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Harlan
Posts: 1,880
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10/26/2009 6:15:35 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Road signs remind us to look our for "slow children."

Well that's a bit unfair. Should the signs say "Slow your car because there are often children here?"

Of course not, because while the driver would be distracted, reading that, he would accidentally run down little kids with his Hummer h2.
PoeJoe
Posts: 3,822
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10/27/2009 2:54:07 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/26/2009 5:53:47 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/26/2009 5:42:15 PM, PoeJoe wrote:
Even professional writing can be messed up. John Grisham's The Firm
Grocery store bestsellers have poor grammar because of carelessness, not lack of knowledge-- they aren't supposed to be too meticulous.

Grisham spent three years writing that thing.

Hell, I've even heard President Obama mix up the subjective and objective cases.
He is speaking. Speaking is spur of the moment. A manual will not help you there.
(I was tempted to say "Even?" Woul've been more fun.)

But he messes up all the time, even in planned speeches: http://blog.seattlepi.com...

The point remains. Being a voracious reader does not automatically make you a good writer. It can certainly help. But to master and really refine your writing abilities, you have to practice. Books like The Elements of Style can help.
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Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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10/27/2009 2:12:31 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/27/2009 2:54:07 AM, PoeJoe wrote:
At 10/26/2009 5:53:47 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/26/2009 5:42:15 PM, PoeJoe wrote:
Even professional writing can be messed up. John Grisham's The Firm
Grocery store bestsellers have poor grammar because of carelessness, not lack of knowledge-- they aren't supposed to be too meticulous.

Grisham spent three years writing that thing.
Well that's poor business practice.


Hell, I've even heard President Obama mix up the subjective and objective cases.
He is speaking. Speaking is spur of the moment. A manual will not help you there.
(I was tempted to say "Even?" Woul've been more fun.)

But he messes up all the time, even in planned speeches: http://blog.seattlepi.com...

The point remains.
Kay, in that case "Even."

Being a voracious reader does not automatically make you a good writer.
It seems to keep my grammar intact whenever I want it intact enough to think about it. And that completely shoves The Elements of Style out of any usefulness, at least for me :).
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
PoeJoe
Posts: 3,822
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10/28/2009 7:09:53 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/27/2009 2:12:31 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/27/2009 2:54:07 AM, PoeJoe wrote:
Being a voracious reader does not automatically make you a good writer.
It seems to keep my grammar intact whenever I want it intact enough to think about it. And that completely shoves The Elements of Style out of any usefulness, at least for me :).

Maybe for you. But for the rest of us mere mortals, intricate details such as the difference between who and whom, the proper usages of a semicolon, and the difference between the plural and singular all, are hard to grasp without a guide book, because we are so often bombarded by bad usage and grammar.
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