Elements of Style

Applying Strunk & White to blogging.


While Steve is weaning himself from his fascinating Math cover story, I am diving into "The Elements of Style." I got a beautifully illustrated, red bound copy for Christmas that I have been reading. Frankly, I am trying to use it to improve my blogging.

When I read over posts later, I realize that my writing isn't as direct when I blog. I use extra words and a passive voice. I'm not sure why. Maybe I am a little lazier because I don't have an editor looking over my copy, or I write more quickly, or I'm still unsure about my blogging voice.

Whatever it is, I thought it would be fun to write about some of the advice from the Elements of Style here and whether it makes sense or not for blogging. Here's an easy little piece of advice that stuck in my head like a bad song this weekend. (Ok, Ok, so Strunk & White didn't use blogging examples. Artistic license...)

"Use the proper case of a pronoun.
The difference between a verbal participle and a gerund is not always obvious but note what is really said in each of the following.

Do you mind me asking a question about your blogging?
Do you mind my asking a question about your blogging?

In the first sentence, the querie objection is to me, as opposed to other members of the group, asking a question. In the second example, the issue is whether a question may be asked at all."

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