William Strunk Jr. (1 July 1869 – 26 September 1946), was a professor of English at Cornell University and author of the The Elements of Style (1918). After revision and enlargement by his former student E. B. White, it became a highly influential guide to English usage during the late 20th century, commonly called Strunk & White.
Strunk was born and reared in Cincinnati, Ohio, the eldest of the four surviving children of William and Ella Garretson Strunk. He earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Cincinnati in 1890 and a PhD at Cornell University in 1896. He spent the academic year 1898–99 at the Sorbonne and the Collège de France, where he studied morphology and philology.
Strunk first taught mathematics at Rose Polytechnical Institute in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1890–91. He then taught English at Cornell for 46 years, disdaining specialization and becoming expert in both classical and non-English literature. In 1922 he published English Metres, a study of poetic metrical form, and he compiled critical editions of Cynewulf's Juliana, several works of Dryden, James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans, and several Shakespearean plays. Strunk was also active in a gathering known as the Manuscript Club, an "informal Saturday-night gathering of students and professors interested in writing," where he met "a sensitive and deeply thoughtful young man named Elwyn Brooks White."..
Quotes by William Strunk Jr
Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all sentences short or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
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