The Elements of Style – Updated by Pritchard

Hyattsville Arts Festival

To all wordsmiths and students of grammar:  There I am, sitting at my table at the Hyattsville Arts Festival, waiting for someone to look at my wares—Cologne No. 10 For Men and Well Considered. I am reading my recent acquisition—William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style, Updated and Annotated For Present-Day Use, by Stanford Pritchard. A fortyish man stops in his tracks and asks me, “Is that the Elements of Style?” I say, “Yes—by Strunk, but updated by Pritchard.” He looks at me in amazement and says, “I’ve never seen anyone actually read that before.” I suppose he likens it to reading the dictionary.  Hundreds of thousands of copies of previous versions sit on shelves above desks throughout the land, right next to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, but are rarely opened and used. I say, “Yes, I’m studying it to see how my writing stacks up.  So far, not too bad.” He smiles and moves on, obviously neither a grammarian nor a fan of fiction. The festival is lively with lots of people, children, artists, crafters, musicians, food, beer, and book buyers. The rain holds off all day. And in spare moments, I have a pleasant time reviewing my grammar, usage, principles of composition, misused expressions, commonly misspelled words, punctuation, clichés, and other irritating solecisms highlighted by Pritchard’s dry wit, and noting in the margins a few things I may need to change in my new novel using Word’s Search Document.

This entry was posted in Relating to Cologne No. 10 for Men, Relating to Well Considered, the novel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Elements of Style – Updated by Pritchard

  1. Maybe that guy was surprised people read S&W because it is full of errors, pompous attitude, and useless advice. Neither author was a linguist or specialist in grammar after all. I haven’t read the updated version you mention, so maybe things have changed. But I don’t have my fingers crossed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s