Some language tips from Strunk & White

2013-08-16

in Books and literature, Geek stuff, Writing

William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White’s The Elements of Style includes advice on words and expressions that are problematic or often badly used. Where no alternative is listed, their advice is to avoid the use of that word or phrase.

I plan to scan the divestment brief (and my own academic writing) with this list before submission. If I had the programming savvy, I would figure out a way to add these to TextMate‘s syntax highlighting, using regular expressions.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

. August 16, 2013 at 9:48 pm
Milan February 6, 2014 at 2:11 pm
. April 20, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Trump’s Elements of Style
KATHRYN PETRAS and ROSS PETRAS

Strunk Rule: Omit needless words
Trump Rule: No word is needless. They’re all great! Terrific! They’re fantastic words! I know about fantastic words!

On Day One, we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern border wall. We will use the best technology, including above- and below-ground sensors. That’s the tunnels. Remember that. Above and below. Above- and below-ground sensors, towers, aerial surveillance and manpower to supplement the wall, find and dislocate tunnels and keep out criminal cartels and Mexico, you know that, will work with us.
— speech, 8/31/16

Strunk rule: Place yourself in the background.
Trump rule: Background?

I know more about renewables than any human being on Earth.
— interview, Sean Hannity, 4/13/16

I think nobody knows more about taxes than I do, maybe in the history of the world. Nobody knows more about taxes.
— interview, AP 5/13/16

I know more about ISIS [the Islamic State militant group] than the generals do. Believe me.
— speech, 11/12/15

There is nobody who understands the horror of nuclear more than me.
— speech, 6/15/16

I know more about Cory [Booker] than he knows about himself.
— tweet, 7/25/16

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