[2006-12-07] “The Elephants Of Style”

“The Elephants of Style” by Bill Walsh is a style guide for written English. The title is a play on the title of that classic book on style by Strunk and White, “The Elements of Style”.

The book is quite funny at times and the author is not afraid to show off his contempt for sloppy writing. Unfortunately the book seems to have been written more for copy editors than the general public. I still found the book an interesting read most of the times and it taught me quite a few things that I didn't know.

At times it does get a bit dreary while the author painstakingly spells out the arcane conventions, exceptions, exceptions to the exceptions, etc. about an item ad nauseum, though it really just highlights the completely arbitrary, illogical and inconsistent conventions of written English. I found myself disagreeing with the author's recommendations on some topics and resolving to stick to my current conventions, but such occasions were infrequent. This book is a nice read even if you don't write for a living.

Other Posts from 2006