The Elements of Style Illustrated

by William Strunk Jr.

Other authorsMaira Kalman (Illustrator), White E B (Author)
Paperback, 2007





Penguin Books (2007), Edition: Reprint, 176 pages


An enhanced edition of the classic writing manual features humorous art by a popular children's book illustrator and New Yorker cover artist, in a volume that provides visual and whimsical embellishments to the original instructive text.

User reviews

LibraryThing member sarah-e
A style guide can be fun to read! This version includes illustrations of selected examples - "somebody else's umbrella," or "Polly loves cake more than she loves me" - that transform a little style and grammar book into something more memorable. At times, the book was so funny I laughed out loud
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and begged my companions to let me read a passage to them. The little book is special indeed, and this illustrated version is delightful.
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LibraryThing member adge73
I like Kalman's work anyway, but she took a brilliant book and made it even more brilliant. The wit and inventiveness in her illustrations provide the perfect counterpoint to the wit and wisdom of the text -- if you're a big grammar nerd such as myself, that is.
LibraryThing member paulsikora
This is the delightfully droll, tongue-in-cheek illustrated version of the gold standard in American composition.
LibraryThing member FieryNight
I've been told this should be a writer's Bible...haven't read/consulted it yet though.
LibraryThing member SqueakyChu
This is such a great little book. I'd always heard of "The Elements of Style" but never knew what it was. I'd found it on my daughter's bookshelf at home and, thumbing through it, had been attracted by the colorful and whimsical paintings of Maira Kalman. Those beautiful pictures add an attraction
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which makes the book look worthwhile reading and saving. I'd read through the book quickly, nodding my head in dismay whenever I encountered a mistake I usually make in writing. What I especially like about this book is that, through its guidance, I might actually someday become a better writer.
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LibraryThing member yapete
I love this book. It is so clear and so funny in its sternness. A must have for anybody who wants to write (anything). The illustrated version adds even more to the quirkiness without subtracting from the subject matter.
LibraryThing member auntieknickers
I'm sure we have more copies of "The Little Book" around the house, but I couldn't resist this illustrated version. Invaluable.
LibraryThing member LeticiaToraci
A compendium of important rules to check when you are revising you work.
LibraryThing member tmamone
What every writer should own.
LibraryThing member FrancescaSz
I curl up with this book on the worst days; those horrible ones without standards or integrity. A well-written sentence is a comfort to me, and this book is full of them. Besides, it's hard not to smile when those sentences are illustrated by Maira Kalman, for whom "he noticed a large stain right
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in the center of the rug" is an opportunity to paint a delightfully macabre scene from a murder mystery, complete with cocktail-sipping onlookers.
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LibraryThing member ASKelmore
From my Cannonball Read V review ...

That’s right. For my 26th book (halfway there!) I decided to finally read through this classic guide to writing. The copy I picked up is a special illustrated edition, which made me feel as though I were reading something more elaborate than small grammar and
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style textbook.

This book has been around for years, with multiple versions and editions dating back to the 1920s. It is a slim book containing six chapters that have been finely edited to provide the reader with just enough guidance to improve his or her writing without weighing him or her down with hundreds of individual rules. It covers grammar, composition, form, expressions, style rules and spelling.

You may be asking yourself why someone might choose to read this book cover to cover, as opposed to perhaps purchasing it to keep as a reference. I will certainly keep it as a reference, but I found that by reading through it I received a much-needed refresher on grammar rules (although Mr. Strunk and I disagree on what is commonly known as the ‘Oxford Comma’ – he uses it and I don’t). I also appreciated the composition and style suggestions. As I have been writing more this year – both for the Cannonball Read and for my own blog – I appreciate suggestions to help improve my writing. Mr. Strunk and Mr. White appreciate brevity and the willingness to take a stance on a topic when writing and I can benefit from incorporating both suggestions more often.

The most relevant lesson for me was woven throughout the book and mentioned in different areas: the lesson of clarity. Why try to sound fancy when fewer words would be clearer to the reader? Keeping both by message and the reader in mind should help me to improve my writing over time.

I recommend that you purchase a copy to use if you write often as well as if you write rarely; in both instances it is likely that you could benefit from style refresher.
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LibraryThing member megaden
A classic. Clear, concise, and quirky.


Original language



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