Saturday, April 11, 2009

Strunk and White

At the Chronicle of Higher Education, a takedown of The Elements of Style as its fiftieth birthday approaches.

The Elements of Style does not deserve the enormous esteem in which it is held by American college graduates. Its advice ranges from limp platitudes to inconsistent nonsense. Its enormous influence has not improved American students' grasp of English grammar; it has significantly degraded it.

1 comment:

Brendan said...

Much as I enjoy a good teardown, sounds like this guy is wound a little too tight when he starts feeling "grammatical angst."

Plus he totally left out the best example from the book:

(Man 1): "Where's the library at?
(Man 2): You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition."
(Man 1): Sorry. Where's the library at, asshole?