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lack of style

June 5, 2007

Here at Eats Bugs, we try to bring you the best in random mental wanderings from yours truly. Often times, this is a feat of great motivation and activity because of my general distractedness or inability to think of anything with substance. Other times, my writing is a blundering mess that falls flat on its face in light of critique. Even yet, at other times, I’m a damn cheater and just put up some video.

What kind of post will this one be? You’ll get to cast your votes at the end of the post.

Because of the gracious and ever informational Mrs. Chili, as well as a number of teachers who’s thoughts have been building up in my head over the last couple years, I’ve ventured out into the world and purchased The Elements of Style. Never have I even cracked its cover, until now.

The book, for those of you unfamiliar, is the cheif reference for writing. It is rumored inside its pages and elsewhere that it is a constant desk reference and companion for many writers. It is used thoroughly for many years, and has survived three editions, having been first published in 1918! I would say it’s a very pertinent book.

Apparently, as mentioned in the E.B. White’s introduction from 1979, the original author, William Strunk Jr., was disposed to reciting his own little rules when he found it necessary. However, one saying was never enough, so he often repeated himself up to three times. Funny enough, I remember when Mrs. L, my nineth grade Honors English teacher made a prime example of this. I even found the quote in the book: “Omit needless words! Omit needless words! Omit needless words!” I can just see her pointing her veiny little finger, growing taller with each repetition. Memories…

Of course, though I’m quickly enamored with this book, this post is a clear and vertical abomination of all the principles mentioned. Irony rears its unexpected head!

And here’s a lovely picture of an lolcat.

from I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?

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5 comments

  1. Heh. Cheif.

    I have that book too. Great stuff.


  2. Who gets to decide what’s “needless,” though? Maybe putting that one little word in there – that your veiny-fingered Honors English teacher would strike out, makes the entire difference between what you mean to say and “not-quite-right”!


  3. Agreed. Of course that is covered in the book. However, if it is needed to make the perfect fit, then it was indeed needed, no?


  4. Maybe. It’s a very sender-receiver sensitive question.

    There’s a line from The West Wing (one of my all-time favorite shows EVER) where President Bartlet says something like “anyone who uses one word when they could have used ten just isn’t trying hard enough.” I’m often ribbed for being wordy, but I think that I need those words to really convey what I’m thinking. Notice I said that *I* think I need those words. YOU may not think so, and may believe that you can get my point with fewer words. While that may be true, it may also not be, and therein lies the question…


  5. Indeed. I have a similar problem, though mine usually ends leaving someone confused. I’m prone to mudding up my meaning pretty easily.



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