Aphorisms by William Strunk Jr and E.B. White

The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr and E.B. White, remains a model of style and brevity, especially the last chapter, on style, which is studded with memorable aphorisms on the art and craft of writing:

 

The first principle of composition is to foresee or determine the shape of what is to come and pursue that shape.

 

Brevity is a by-product of vigor.

 

Instead of announcing that what you are about to tell is interesting, make it so.

 

Creative writing is communication through revelation.

 

The mind travels faster than the pen.

 

The practice and habit of writing not only drain the mind but supply it, too.

 

The adjective hasn’t been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place.

 

Do not be tempted by a twenty-dollar word when there is a ten-center handy, ready and able.

 

Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.

 

When you say something, make sure you have said it.

 

The longest way round is usually the shortest way home.