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 Replies to “The The Impotence of Proofreading. And Happy Birthday to The Elements of Style”

  1. 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 It’s still useful, but not as complete, and some of its examples are now a little out of date (it’s from the era when people still wrote “to-day” with the hyphen, for instance).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

  2. 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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