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Strunk and White analysis

October 6, 2011

One of the most beneficial aspects of this reading was in Chapter II. In section 1, “form the possessive singular of nouns with‘s,” they used the table reading “Charles’s friend/Burns’s poems/the witch’s malice” (Strunk and White, 3). I found this helpful because throughout the course of my writing and editing career, I could never get this one down. Writing “Charles’ friend” or “Charles’s friend” both look right, and for some reason, I could never lock that down.

When I first started reading this, I didn’t think there was going to be a lot that I wouldn’t understand, but as it so happened, there was something I could pull from it right in the beginning.

One part that I found dated, however, was Section 8 in Chapter II, stating, “If there is room at the end of a line for one or more syllables of a word, but not for the whole word, divide the word, unless this involves cutting off only a single letter, or cutting off only two letters of a long word,” (Strunk and White, 10).

I found this to be outdated because with word processing, this is done automatically, or the entire word is brought down to the next line. While it appears to be helpful, which it no doubt was when people used note pads more, with today’s use of computers, it’s simply not necessary.

One other section I found to be rather outdated was Number 18 in Chapter III, stating “Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end,” (Strunk and White, 28).

I found this to be outdated because of the way the sentences in the examples were presented. And also, where is the line drawn between words that are emphatic and words that are not? I felt this one to be rather unhelpful to me.

Overall, there was a lot more helpful information in this book than there was unhelpful. I knew a good portion of it, but there are always little aspects of writing that someone might now know, and this book is perfect for that. While yes, some of it is written in a manner that could be communicated better to today’s generation of young writers, many of the tips remain helpful to a writer of any level.


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