...when a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter. Thus, brevity is a by-product of vigor.— William Strunk, Jr.
The most delicious William Strunk, Jr. quotes that will activate your inner potential
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.
If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud!
Make definite assertions. Avoid tame, colorless, hesitating, non-committal language.
Vigorous writing is concise.
Every writer, by the way he uses the language, reveals something of his spirit, his habits, his capacities, his bias....Avoid the elaborate, the pretentious, the coy, and the cute. Do not be tempted by a twenty-dollar word when there is a ten-center handy, ready and able.
Instead of announcing what you are about to tell is interesting, make it so.
Avoid fancy words....If you admire fancy words, if every sky is beauteous, every blonde curvaceous, every intelligent child prodigious, if you are tickled by discombobulate, you will have bad time Reminder 14.
If you use a colloquialism or a slang word or phrase, simply use it;
do not draw attention to it by enclosing it in quotation marks. To do so is to put on airs, as though you were inviting the reader to join you in a select society of those who know better.
A drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
The approach to style is by way of plainness, simplicity, orderliness, sincerity.
The adjective hasn't been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place.
Rewrite and revise. Do not be afraid to seize what you have and cut it to ribbons ... Good writing means good revising.
Remember, it is no sign of weakness or defeat that your manuscript ends up in need of major surgery. This is a common occurrence in all writing, and among the best writers.
A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses.
To acquire style, begin by affecting none.
Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.
The situation is perilous, but there is still one chance of escape.
The surest way to arouse and hold the attention of the reader is by being specific, definitive, and concrete. The greatest writers - Homer, Dante, Shakespeare - are effective largely because they deal in particulars and report the details that matter. Their words call up pictures.
Opinions scattered indiscriminately about leave the mark of egotism.
It is worse to be irresolute than to be wrong.
Rather, very, little, pretty - these are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words. The constant use of the adjective little (except to indicate size) is particularly debilitating; we should all try to do a little better, we should all be very watchful of this rule, for it is a rather important one, and we are pretty sure to violate it now and then.
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.
None are so fallible as those who are sure they're right.
Rich, ornate prose is hard to digest, generally unwholesome, and sometimes nauseating.
To air one's views gratuitously, is to imply that the demand for them is brisk.
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.
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.