“I thank you for your letter and am pleased to learn that I restored somebody’s faith in education,” White replied in a 1980 letter. “You, on your part, restored mine — by writing a legible and well-constructed letter.”
This April, the famed collaborative work of two Cornell alumni, William Strunk Jr., grad, 1896, and English professor, and E.B. White ’21, The Elements of Style celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Known today as a universal guide in stylistic and grammatical writing for students, The Elements of Style’s history connects two generations of Cornellians.
Originally written in 1918 by Strunk, this “little book,” as White constantly referred to it, laid down the foundation for efficacious writing.
Strunk was able to consolidate the handbook by narrowing down the principles of writing to only eight basic rules of usage, 10 principles of composition and “a few matters of form,” according newsday.com.