The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White



Do you know where to put commas? Semi-colons? Do you know how to use a hyphen? Well, Strunk and White are here to help. In my life away from this blog, I am a linguist. Linguists, in general, are more about describing language as it is than telling you how to language right. And, I’m into that. I think that is a good thing. But, it definitely has its place. We do all still have to communicate with each other, sometimes in sentences with multiple clauses. When we talk to each other, we can use intonation to indicate clause breaks. We make little pauses. The pitch of our voice rises and falls. But, in writing, we can’t rely on that. We need a way to indicate where the pauses to be. Strunk and White lay out the details by giving you a guideline and then showing you a couple of examples. It is a basic guide that covers a lot of the trickier uses of punctuation. It is a nice little guide for getting your commas straight.