The Elements of Style — Book Review

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Cross-posted from Goodreads.

I bought this one during my MBA prep days. I thought it’d also help me become a better writer. Simultaneously, I was doing a creative writing course at IGNOU. Those were days when Flipkart sold only books! After waiting for ten years, it was high time to pick it up.

When I did finally started reading, I realized why I had been putting it off. Despite being only 50 pages long, it’s technically dense and written in a horrible typewritery font.

What I liked

  • Confident and prescriptive tone.
  • Eye-opening anti-patterns for commonly used words.
  • Reading the book is like reading the inner rules of Grammarly.

What I didn’t like

  • A bit technically dense, especially in the second chapter.
  • A few rules feel a bit dated. Eg. replacing ‘They’ with he or she – it’s non-inclusive.

Key learnings

The rules in the book discourage:

  • Vagueness (missing detail)
  • Uncertainty, timidity
  • Wordiness (unnecessary words)
  • Grammatical errors
  • Intensifiers (so, very)


If you struggle to make your writing concise, give this short primer a read. But don’t be fooled by its length. Sometimes digesting a single page may take a few good minutes. Otherwise, simply subscribe to Grammarly Premium and learn the same rules visually.

1 thought on “The Elements of Style — Book Review

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