This is not an exit

A true classic never goes out of style

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2012 at 11:00 am

But it might get three revisions over nearly 100 years. In preparation for my beginning the Gateway series at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, I’ve been thumbing through the required text: The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White (that’s right, our stylebook was co-written by the guy who penned Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web.) The original text was published 93 years ago in 1918.

The book contains five main parts that cover topics from sentence construction to elements of composition and misused expressions. The glossary in the back is, quite honestly, the most accessible and — dare I say it? — kick-ass reference I’ve found in a stylebook. And it’s not just a book for journalists. My roommate, who’s an aspiring writer himself, has already devoured it. He even did so before I even knew it existed. Damn hipster.

Speaking of hipsters, did anyone catch the season premiere of Portlandia? MTV had a pretty neat interview with Fred Armisen about both subjects and the entire episode was up for streaming at the bottom of the article. Sadly, it’s been yanked because of the premiere’s airing on the Independent Film Channel Friday but I’ll update this post if it returns and link it for you.

Back on course, here: The assignment of The Elements of Style and the fact that it’s only in its fourth edition further convince me that the foundations of journalism and good writing style are as relevant today as ever. A basic understanding of those principals will go a long way and hopefully remain priorities for those seeking to lead the media revolution. Enough of this nerdry. Students: Enjoy the rest of your last weekend before classes. Non-students: Enjoy the rest of your weekend, period.

I know how I’m doing so.

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