Strunk and White on audio- I wonder what Strunk would have commented by aihaozhe2


									Having read "Strunk and White" over and over, I remember their admonitions to omit
needless words and use the active voice. Like White, I am not always successful in
my writing, but I strive to reach success in editing. On a recent visit to a cyberspace
library, I saw "Strunk and White" on audio and checked it out. Listening to "Strunk
and White" is challenging, especially catching the differences between examples read
aloud while I navigate to and from work past slow moving trucks and watch for
farmers leaving their fields to cross the road.

The audio version shows Strunk's strong opinions better than the written text, but the
written text helps readers to reflect on his rules and examples. Listening to the audio
version, I wonder who these two men were. Strunk was a professor at Cornell, and
E.B. White an author. Wikipedia tells us that Strunk taught for 46 years, but published
only two books: "The Elements of Style" and "English Metres." Strunk was more an
editor, editing books by William Shakespeare, James Fenimore Cooper, and other
authors. Strunk also worked in the movies, where he was a literary consultant on
Romeo and Juliet.

E.B. White was an author. He work includes "Charlotte's Web" and "Stuart Little."
You may remember both stories from childhood. "Charlotte's Web" was the story of a
pig, and "Stuart Little" was the story of a mouse. E.B. White joined the New Yorker
magazine in 1927, writing for the magazine for six decades. E.B. White was Strunk's
student. Robert Angell, E.B. White's stepson, introduces the audio version. Both the
original authors are now dead, but listening to Angell's memories of his stepfather
typing for The New Yorker in his study, I saw E.B. White working on his writing.

Wikipedia also provides criticism of "Strunk and White," referring to personal
eccentricities and now antiquated pet peeves. The book may be arbitrary in places and
I may not agree with all of its rules, but I look to more to "Strunk and White" to help
myself with the big picture of my writing such as omitting needless words, using the
active voice, and editing. I listen to the rules, understanding that the rules address the
problems that Strunk saw in his students. Strunk and White do not present a grammar
book; doing so was not their goal.

When I stop my car, turning off the audio and "Strunk and White," I wonder what
Strunk might have said about his book being on audio. I can picture him stating that
we read books to children and blind people. I imagine that visually challenged was
not a term he would approve of. Listening to "Strunk and White" in the car is more
entertainment than reflecting on writing. I enjoy listening, but I am not sure if it will
help my writing. As a reader who has read the text version, I wonder how many
people will listen to the audio, never seeing the text version. That, I can't imagine.

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