Thursday, November 20, 2008

Writing Advice: Save the Bewildered Reader!

In introducing William Strunk's "little book" on style and grammar, E.B. White writes,

All through The Elements of Style one finds evidences of the author's deep sympathy for the reader. Will felt that the reader was in serious trouble most of the time, a man floundering in a swamp, and that it was the duty of anyone attempting to write English to drain this swamp quickly and get his man up on dry ground, or at least throw him a rope. In revising the text, I have tried to hold steadily in mind this belief of his, this concern for the bewildered reader.
The Elements of Style, 3rd ed, xvi.

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I also occasionally post annotations that I make as I read Cormac McCarthy at "Reading Cormac McCarthy."

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2006-17

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