Skip to content

Strunk & White, First Impressions

October 6, 2011

As I read through the Strunk and White style guide, one of the first rules jumped out at me right off the bat. Rule number five, “Do not join independent clauses with a comma” (Strunk & White, 5). This rule in particular stood out to be because it was the number one question I always had about writing: When do I use the semi-colon? Essentially, they said in the rule that if there are multiple clauses and one is preceded by an adverb, you should use a semi-colon. Also, if two grammatically complete clauses are supposed to join in a compound sentence, but are not joined by a conjunction, you should use a semi-colon. It makes me extremely happy to finally know this, as I’ve wondered about it since I was first starting to seriously write. Thanks to Strunk & White, now I know how to use this, and I found out that I was actually using commas appropriately, which is something I worried about. The rule that I found the least helpful, and perhaps a bit more of the opinion of the writers than an actual concrete rule, was rule number fifteen. Rule fifteen talks about using positive terms instead of negative, and I feel that, as a writer, I should be allowed to put things in a negative form, especially if I really feel negative about it. They showed an example of someone writing about The Taming of the Shrew, with one negative and one positive writing. The positive example changed the author’s meaning and intent entirely, making it sound more like he disliked Shakespeare’s portrayal of women instead of disliking the characters in the play. This, to me, made me think that this was just something they liked to see in writing that they read, rather than what really makes a good essay.


From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

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

%d bloggers like this: