Books

English Comp Refresh

One of the things I dread in the process of publishing a book is the editor's knife. My work is sure is to get sliced and diced to pieces! In an effort to minimize the pain, I decided to do some brush up reading on English Composition - and then edit myself. So for the last few days I've been reading Shrunk & White's The Elements of Style.


I was sitting in Starbucks reading it last week and a middle-aged man commented: "Best book in the world." Turns out he is a teacher who focuses on creative writing; he reads Shrunk & White once a year.

It's short: 105 pages including the index.

It's practical: 11 elementary principles of usage; 11 elementary principles of composition; 21 pointers on style; and a great chapter on "Words and Expressions Commonly Misused."

And it's already reduced my word-count! Amazing how many superfluous words we use in writing!

Give it a try.

7 comments:

mwh said...

I should read this book. I'm the most "wordy and verbose" communicator there is.

My high school English teacher recommended reading your composition backwards, one sentence at a time, so as to break up the flow. It quickly becomes obvious then how many unnecessary "transition" words we use.

I've already added the book to my wish list.

CityStreams said...

Great tip for a blogger! I'll have to look into that :o) Thanks for your sweet comment earlier on my friendship post.

Amanda said...

Ugh. That book makes me think of AP English. *shivers* I think I'll keep my copy in one of the many boxes of books we have around the house.

mwh - my English teachers told us the same thing.

:)

John said...

Ironic that you posted on this book. I finished reading it again Saturday (not that it shows.)

My art history teacher required us all to buy and read it. I didn't appreciate it then, but I sure do now.

cgl said...

It is sickening to think that my wife LOVES grammar and that grammar is the reason she is an English major...ick. This sounds like a good book. There is nothing worse than verbose scientific writing.

HBF said...

Pastor Jeff Adams of Kansas City Baptist Temple recommended this book when I attended thier Bible Institute. Great book!

Pastor Brian Hedges
Heartland Baptist Fellowship
Harrisonville, Mo
www.hbfcass.org

Brian G. Hedges said...

What do you know? Another pastor named Brian Hedges!

Thanks for posting!