July 1st – William Strunk

“A careful and honest writer does not need to worry about style. As you become proficient in the use of language, your style will emerge, because you yourself will emerge, and when this happens you will find it increasingly easy to breakthrough the barriers that separate you from other minds, other hearts – which is, of course, the purpose of writing, as well as its principal reward.”

William Strunk Jr. was born July 1st, 1869, in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Cincinnati in 1890, then a Ph.D. at Cornell in 1896. He also studied at the Sorbonne and the College de France. After graduated he taught mathematics briefly at Rose Polytechnical Institute before becoming an English Teacher at Cornell for 46 years.

In 1918 Strunk privately published The Elements of Style, a “forty-three-page summation of the case for cleanliness, accuracy, and brevity in the use of English,” according to author E.B. White. White expanded and modernized the book for Macmillan and Company. This 1935 edition sold more than 2 million copies. And in the decades since, the ‘Strunk and White’ as it’s now known, has sold over 10 million copies. 

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