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EB White on writing

Today is the birthday of EB White (July 11, 1899 – October 1, 1985), reminds the Writer’s Almanac. Earlier this month, I posted an entry quoting the writer William Zinsser’s homage to White in his book, On Writing Well. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr and EB White […]

Rewriting: A 20th century phenomenon

The essence of writing is rewriting, says William Zinsser in his book, On Writing Well. With the arrival of the word processor, he says: “Two opposite things happened: good writers got better and bad writers got worse. Good writers welcomed the gift of being able to fuss endlessly with their […]

Nature’s chief masterpiece

Of all those arts in which the wise excel, Nature’s chief masterpiece is writing well. The quote used to appear in a Time magazine ad long ago. Hardly anyone remembers the author, John Sheffield, the Duke of Buckingham (1648-1721), for his poetry, but maybe that is why I love the […]

The seven ages of language

Don’t make any conscious effort to improve your vocabulary, says Stephen King in his book, Stephen King: On Writing. Your vocabulary will grow as you read, he adds. And then he says: One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, […]

Updike on writing

John Updike, Wilfred Owen and George Plimpton were all born on March 18, reminds the Writer’s Almanac. My favourite writer, the most celebrated First World War poet, and Plimpton, the founding editor of the Paris Review, which he helmed from 1953 till his death in 2003. I remember reading excerpts […]