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.


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

Brian G. Hedges said...

What do you know? Another pastor named Brian Hedges!

Thanks for posting!