William Strunk

1869 - 1946

A Quote by William Strunk, Jr.

To air one's views gratuitously, is to imply that the demand for them is brisk.

William Strunk (1869 - 1946)

Source: Strunk & White in The Elements of Style, 1918, Third Revision, 1979, p. 80.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Strunk, Jr. on chance, failure, men, skill, success, time, understanding, and writing

To show what happens when strong writing is deprived of its vigor, George Orwell once took a passage from the Bible and drained it of its blood. [First, below, is Orwell's translation; then, the verse.] Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must inevitably he taken into account . -George Orwell I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. -Ecclesiastes 9:11 [KJV]

William Strunk (1869 - 1946)

Source: Strunk & White in The Elements of Style, 1918, Third Revision, 1979, p. 23.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Strunk, Jr. on cruelty, manners, men, nations, philosophy, punishment, and style

In his Philosophy of Style, Herbert Spencer gives two sentences to illustrate how the vague and general can be turned into the vivid and particular: In proportion as the manners, customs, and amusements of a nation are cruel and barbarous, the regulations of its penal code will be severe. In proportion as men delight in battles, bullfights, and combats of gladiators, will they punish by hanging, burning, and the rack.

William Strunk (1869 - 1946)

Source: Strunk & White in The Elements of Style, 1918, Third Revision, 1979, p. 23.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Strunk, Jr. on argument and principles

In exposition and in argument, the writer must likewise never lose his hold upon the concrete; and even when he is dealing with general principles, he must furnish particular instances of their application.

William Strunk (1869 - 1946)

Source: Strunk & White in The Elements of Style, 1918, Third Revision, 1979, p. 22-23.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Strunk, Jr. on machines, reason, words, and writing

Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

William Strunk (1869 - 1946)

Source: Strunk & White in The Elements of Style, 1918, Third Revision, 1979, p. 23.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by William Strunk, Jr. on egotism

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Opinions scattered indiscriminately about leave the mark of egotism.

William Strunk (1869 - 1946)

Source: Strunk & White in The Elements of Style, 1918, Third Revision, 1979, p. 80.

Contributed by: Zaady

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