Highlights from The Elements of Style (William Strunk Jr.)

From our journey through random or quality (or random quality) books, here are some highlights from William Strunk Jr.’s The Elements of Style (1920).

Emphasis as it appears in the original work may be missing, and our own edits, though marked, may be broad. Important: By sharing these highlights we neither endorse nor recommend respective authors and their views. Assume that we know little of the authors, and that we have nuanced views on the matter—as with all our book recommendations.

Elementary Rules of Usage

The Elements of Style

1. Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding ’s.

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Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (Marshall B. Rosenberg)

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life

“An enlightening look at how peaceful communication can create compassionate connections with family, friends, and other acquaintances, this international bestseller uses stories, examples, and sample dialogues to provide solutions to communication problems both at home and in the workplace. Guidance is provided on identifying and articulating feelings and needs, expressing anger fully, and exploring the power of empathy in order to speak honestly without creating hostility, break patterns of thinking that lead to anger and depression, and communicate compassionately. Continue reading…

Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking (Grant Barrett)

Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking

“Expert linguist Grant Barrett gives you all the tools you need to improve your everyday communication—from perfecting your punctuation to polishing your speaking skills—with his accessible, go-to grammar guide.
Language learners of all levels can turn to this easy-to-navigate grammar guide again and again for quick and authoritative information. From conjugating verbs to crafting sentences to developing your own style, Grant Barrett provides you with the tools and motivation to improve the way you communicate. Continue reading…

Bad Language (Lars-Gunnar Andersson & Peter Trudgill)

Bad Language: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

Bad Language

“The title of this book is intended ironically. The main thrust of this book is to argue that one should think twice before condemning particular forms of language or linguistic usages. Written by linguists, it takes the linguist’s objective view but is written in non-technical language so that it can be accessible and entertaining to a large audience. Topics covered include swearing, slang, dialects, accents and jargon.”

New Books Playground says: Bad Language is the most interesting linguistics book we’ve read—it’s entertaining and we got confirmation for what we’ve suspected (that language change is natural). Continue reading…

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer (Roy Peter Clark)

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer

“Ten years ago, Roy Peter Clark, America’s most influential writing teacher, whittled down almost thirty years of experience in journalism, writing, and teaching into a series of fifty short essays on different aspects of writing. In the past decade, Writing Tools has become a classic guidebook for novices and experts alike and remains one of the best loved books on writing available.

Organized into four sections, ‘Nuts and Bolts,’ ‘Special Effects,’ ‘Blueprints for Stories,’ and ‘Useful Habits,’ Writing Tools is infused with more than 200 examples from journalism and literature. Continue reading…

The Elements of Style (William Strunk)

The Elements of Style: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style (1918), by William Strunk, Jr., is a prescriptive American English writing style guide comprising seven ‘elementary rules of usage,’ eleven ‘elementary principles of composition,’ ‘a few matters of form,’ a list of sixty-two ‘words and expressions commonly misused,’ and a list of sixty-five ‘words often misspelled.’ In 2011, TIME magazine listed The Elements of Style as one of the 100 best and most influential books written in English.”

New Books Playground says: The Elements of Style is what we always love having handy (and always wish we consulted more often). Continue reading…

Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish: A Creative and Proven Approach (Margarita Madrigal)

Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish: A Creative and Proven Approach: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish: A Creative and Proven Approach

“Learn the basics of the Spanish language with this easy-to-use guide by one of America’s most prominent language teachers. 

Anyone can read, write, and speak Spanish in only a few short weeks with this unique and proven method, which completely eliminates rote memorization and boring drills. With original black and white illustration by Andy Warhol, Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish will provide readers with a solid foundation upon with to build their language skills.”

New Books Playground says: Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish: A Creative and Proven Approach is the first language book we feature and we do that because it offers such a great start into the Spanish language. Continue reading…