While hard to read (because reading rules causes my brain to fall asleep), I really did enjoy this book UNTIL I reached the last section titled "An Approach to Style." If I understand correctly, this last section was written by White, while the rest was written by Strunk. This disappointed me, because this last chapter was the one I most looked forward to reading.
The majority of the book is a list of rules, boring to read but very helpful to someone wanting to improve their writing skills.
Now, I am the FIRST to admit my writing skills are not perfect. Frankly, nothing about me is perfect ... but I'm working on it!
But, the last chapter of this book was written with such snobbery, I wanted to chuck it across the room, scrunch up my face, and yell, "Are you kidding me?" So glad this chapter was last and not first.
Anyhow ... wanna know why it ticked me off?
I have a business degree. Business in my bones. Salesperson by nature. And, this last chapter suggests that people in advertising and business do not "...use the language well..." (page 82).
Here's an exerpt:
"People in business say that toner cartridges are in short supply, that they have updated the next shipment of these cartridges, and that they will finalize their recommendations at the next meeting of the board. They are speaking a language familiar and dear to them. Its portentous nouns and verbs invest ordinary events with high adventure; executives walk among toner cartridges, caparisoned like knights. We should tolerate them - every person of spirit wants to ride a white horse" (page 82).
The author then goes on to explain how "finalize" is not a standard word, calling it a "peculiarly fuzzy and silly word."
Oh. My. Gosh. Seriously?
Then this morning, I went onto a business website and placed an order for my business. I clicked on the button that said, "Finalize Order." While I hesitated before clicking, I shook my head at Strunk and White, because the meaning of "finalize" seemed perfectly clear to me, but then, I have a business degree. So, I must be pretending to be a knight on a horse as I click the finalize button.
I will continue to improve my writing skills, employing much of what I learned from this book ... but give me a break. Writing is supposed to be a pleasure for writers, not merely a diagnostic chore.