Comparing Strunk and White to Williams

Posted: October 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

Williams’ book, like Strunk and White point out the need to omit “pointless” words. Both books have a section or chapter on it so the reader can really understand that wordiness can often make things unclear. From past experiences my wordiness can confuse people at some points and I obviously want to avoid that at all costs. In the blog post on Strunk and White I commented on how I really enjoyed that portion of the book and in Williams’ I commented on the same thing, which I didn’t even notice until now. I guess that just would improve my writing if I could be less wordy at times. Although they provide similar advise, the two books are very different when it comes to explaining style.

To an extent Williams’ book could be considered more useful because it wasn’t so cookie cutter like Strunk and White. It wasn’t a simple example with a correction, it was more of an examination of the issue, a few examples and an in depth explanation. I felt as if there was more heart into Williams for some reason. Even in the preface he explains the efforts of other style books, “They are all for accuracy, brevity, clarity,. and so forth, but beyond offering good and bad examples, none of them explains how to achieve those ends.” With this, Williams’ does in fact go beyond the typical basics of style. I think that is why I enjoyed his ideas much more than Strunk and White. It was like having a conversation with him on how to improve my writing. I have to admit that style books aren’t exactly my favorite read and they aren’t always exciting, but I found Williams’ interesting for the most part and easy to get through.

To an extent Strunk and White’s book could be considered more useful because it was simple and fast. It was kind of like a go to book that you could easily look something up and find your answer, but if you wanted to get an in depth explanation this probably wouldn’t be the best book. I did like it for the convenience though. It was also an easy read because it was so short and simple it didn’t exactly take too much thinking to understand the concepts. Honestly beyond that it’s hard to me to pick out things that I liked because I didn’t really like the book as a whole. I didn’t agree with some things in the book and it was just kinda boring. Maybe I’m just more of a fan of Williams’ so I’m being bias. Over all I can see where the text can be helpful and I can see why writers would use it.

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Comments
  1. Maxine says:

    After reading both of your blogs on Struk and White (first imoressions) then this one, I thought I was reading my own for a second. It is amazing how we all feel almost the same reguarding these two books. Then adding this article about Ms. Kalman to our thoughts. She wants to turn S & W into an Opera. This makes me think did we read this little book wrong? The human thought process never cease to amaze me!

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