Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Unbirthday, Strunk and White

It is the 50th anniversary of Strunk and White. I used to recommend the book to all my college students. It wasn't until Wordcraft and dialogue with linguists, English teachers, and the like, where I found how ridiculously judgmental their advice is. The funny part is how they themselves don't take their own advice, both in the grammar text itself and in E.B. White's Charlotte's Web. Language Log and Geoffrey Pullum do an excellent job of refuting much of their bossiness.

So, happy un-birthday, Strunk and White. 'Tis too bad, too, because E.B. White was some writer.

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