Strunk & White’s Elements of Style

If you are a writer, do yourself a favor and pick up The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. It’s ninety-five pages of priceless writing advice. I like it so much that I carry it with my laptop, just in case I decide to write…Well, I do carry one other book. It’s called The Elements of Grammar but I don’t want to talk about it.

Just in case you forget to pick this book up — you’re telling yourself you’re not in school and don’t buy books like that anymore — I’ll be sharing pieces of it on this blog, weekly.  Today I’m going to pull one from section IV, Words and Expression Commonly Misused. The expression is:

“In terms of”

I think it’s interesting to note that this expression is not labeled in the book as a misused expression but rather, “A piece of padding usually best omitted.” Some people use this one a lot when they talk. They might say, “Avatar was pretty good, in terms of visual effects.” Using this expression is tiresome. “The visual effects made Avatar a pretty good movie.” I think that sounds better, in terms of being less tiresome. Heh, see what I did there?

For what it’s worth, one of my favorite authors, Stephen King, said this about The Elements of Style.

“I’ll tell you right now that every aspiring writer should read The Elements of Style.”

That’s some of the best advice I’ve ever taken.

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Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 8:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

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