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