American English Writing for Business
The best-known guide to American English writing is The Elements of Style by William Strunk
, Jr. and E.B. White. Known as Strunk and White, the book was first written in 1918 by Cornell University professor William Strunk, Jr. In a mere 43 pages, Professor Strunk presented guidelines for what he termed “cleanliness, accuracy, and brevity in the use of English”: eight elementary rules of usage, ten elementary principles for composition, “a few matters of form”, and a list of commonly misused words and expressions.
Upon Strunk’s death in 1946, Macmillan and Company commissioned the American writer, poet and New Yorker columnist E.B. White to revise the book. His first revision was published in 1959; it updated and extended Strunk’s original sections and added an essay and a concluding chapter called An Approach to Style.
White published two more revisions, in 1972 and 1979. The fourth edition in 1999 included a forward by White’s stepson Roger Angell; a glossary; and an index as well as editing by an anonymous editor. The most recent release (2005) is based on the 1999 text with added design and illustration, all contained in only 105 pages. A Fiftieth Anniversary Edition was published in 2009.
The Elements of Style remains the most popular and often-required guide to popular use of American English. It is readily available in bookstores and online.
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