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The The Impotence of Proofreading. And Happy Birthday to The Elements of Style

I *finally* finished marking the assignments that I’ve been marking for the last 362,454,879 days. Just in time to create the exam before the next set of assignments come in for marking! I really like teaching, but man oh man it’s a lot of work.  Especially the first time you teach a course. I can even begin to describe how happy I’ll be to see the end of term!

In related news, I saw over on Derek‘s Facebook wall that it is the 50th anniversary of Strunk and White’s book The Elements of Style. The Elements of Style is a short book about grammar, word usage and composition that pretty much everyone should read.  It’s available in its entirety online, for free.  I tell all my students, regardless of what course I’m teaching, that they should read it1.

In other related news, I showed this video clip to my class today:

“The The Impotence of Proofreading,” by Taylor Mali

I thought I’d posted this video before, but a quick search of my blog didn’t turn up anything, so perhaps I just meant to2. It makes me laugh every time I watch it.

1I wonder how many of them actually do?
2See: good intentions, road to hell paved with.

7 Responses to The The Impotence of Proofreading. And Happy Birthday to The Elements of Style

  1. raincoaster says:

    Taylor Mali is good, but Shane Koyczan is a force of nature. He’s got a piece about a spellchecker that is simply the filthiest, funniest thing you’ve ever seen. And he’s from Vancouver.

    raincoaster’s last blog post..Upcoming Twitter and Social Media Courses

  2. Sarah says:

    I adore Strunk and White. You know that ‘White’ is EB White of “Charlotte’s Web” fame, right?

    Sarah’s last blog post..Six weeks – an update

  3. Beth says:

    Yup. And, surprisingly, I don’t hate Charlotte’s Web, despite it being about a spider.

  4. Jorge says:

    You’ve aged well for an almost (relatively speaking) 100000 year old woman.

    Jorge’s last blog post..I Am Cast Iron Man

  5. Beth says:

    Yes. It’s the fresh ocean air – it keeps you young. That, and I’m a vampire.

  6. BTW the free version of the Elements of Style you linked to is the original one by Strunk alone, which is now public domain, and is decades older than Strunk & White. It’s still useful, but not as complete, and some of its examples are now a little out of date (it’s from the era when people still wrote “to-day” with the hyphen, for instance). I’d recommend people spend the chump change it costs to buy a current edition of the full book.

    Derek K. Miller’s last blog post..I made a goofy little metal video

  7. Beth says:

    Oh, I didn’t realize that! Thanks for letting me know!

    My ex, who was an English grad student, had a copy of the current edition, but I lost custody of it in the divorce. I should probably spend the chump change to get myself a copy!

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