What are others saying?

The first classmate’s blog that I read was Maxine’s blog, and a few things stuck out to me right away from what she was saying. Maxine said, “The main difference I noticed was Williams placed Usage, Style and Grammar at the end of his book whereas Strunk and White opened their book with this topic.” I didn’t even begin to think of the placement of the different elements to style in the two manuals. I focused mainly on the content from them. Her idea makes quite a bit of sense though, and as she goes on to talk about, the difference probably comes from what each author wants us as readers to focus on. We both had the similar opinion that S & W and Williams both discuss needless words in writing. Although the way Maxine and I wrote about these concepts differed, I will venture to say that we both agree that both guides to style were attempting similar things. S & W were concise, and Williams was detailed. 

A common theme through a few of my classmates’ blogs was that Williams’ book was more up-to-date than the guide from S & W. This was another concept I had not thought too much about. In my own writing and comparisons, I focused on one rule or concept compared to another, but my classmates’ offered some really insightful ideas. Tony wrote, “information offered in Williams was a little more timely than that of Strunk and White.” He is comparing the fact that S & W offered rules like writing “wildlife” instead of “wild-life,” (Strunk and White 35) where that was left out of Williams’ book.

At this point in reading my classmates’ blogs, I feel as though I took a completely different approach to comparing the two style guides than most. This is not to say that my ideas are any worse or better than my classmates’ ideas, but it was interesting to see. Quite a few other students also discussed each books’ length. Everyone who discussed this said similar things, such as what Leeann said: “Strunk and White provide a short, concise guide to style,” compared to the length of Williams’ book. A few people talked about how they would use the S & W guide to style as a quick refresher, but to get further into their writing (for rewriting drafts and other things) they would use the book written by Williams. I agree with these ideas. S & W, although frustrating at times, gives an easy, concise guide to easy-to-forget rules of style; Williams offers a more thorough explanation of style. I may even end up using the S & W book as a guide for what to look for in the book by Williams.

Like pretty much all of my classmates, I agree that although dull at points (and long in the case of Williams), I did find the style guides useful. I said in my bp “Comparing S & W with Williams” that I will take these guides with a grain of salt, but this does not mean that I don’t find them useful. Like Lisa said in her comparison post, “both [books] contained a lot of information,” but it is information that will be useful.

emulee [Leeann J.]. “Comparing S&W to Williams.” WordPress.com. WordPress, 19 October 2011. Web. 26 October 2011.

fhsparty26 [Tony W.]. “Comparing Strunk and White with Williams.” WordPress.com. WordPress, 19 October 2011. Web. 26 October 2011.

kassiopia26 [Lisa M.]. “Blog Post 10: Comparing Strunk and White to Williams.” WordPress.com. WordPress, 19 October 2011. Web. 26 October 2011.

keyheatia [Maxine W.]. “Comparing Strunk and White to Williams.” WordPress.com. WordPress, 19 October 2011. Web. 26 October 2011.

Strunk, William, and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. Massachusetts: Pearson/Longman, 2000. Print.


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