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There’s one writing handbook–short and sweet–that lasted for decades:

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The Elements of Style

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by Strunk & White¹

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   If you write, this is the book you want under your pillow–yes, we’re pushing paper–when it’s not on your shelf.  Want to know more? Use the DOOR…

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[MORE]

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   First, there are dozens of writing handbooks. This is the short, still relevant, interesting one you can tiptoe into while the coffee’s brewing.

   It offers helpful bits of grammar, elementary rules of composition, and lists words and expressions commonly misused. After that if “offers an approach to style” so if you want to make words work for you, here’s a great “devotional book” to get you on the road.

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   “No book in shorter space, with fewer words, will help any writer more than this persistent little volume,” says The Boston Globe. [There's only 105 very readable pages including a helpful index.]

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   Also highly recommended by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker. [as well as, of course, A Dozen Seconds.]

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   The 4th edition at my fingertips (c. 2000), is crafted by Strunk (White’s teacher) and White’s elves (remember White’s Charlotte’s Web?) since both authors are long deceased (White, 1985). Commonsense crafting with vivid simple language is what writing is all about. Strunk & White & Company help the writer do it right.

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   ¹ William Strunk & E. B. White, The Elements of Style (4th ed.–at hand here) (Allyn & Bacon, 2000).