Advice for Bloggers

Strunk and White offer this advice for bloggers:

Unless there is a good reason for its being there, do not inject opinion into a piece of writing. We all have opinions about almost everything, and the temptation to toss them in is great. To air one’s views gratuitously, however, is to imply that the demand for them is brisk, which may not be the case, and which, in any event, may not be relevant to the discussion.


  1. I’m working as the Tech Editor for a book (the 3rd such project). You won’t be surprised that I advised the author to inject more of himself into the writing. I can pick up a dozen documents that list all the choices in this program — I want to know which of 3 arguably equal ways of doing something HE prefers and why; I want to know which of those methods he dislikes and why. Of course, I don’t want him to tell me anyone who does it THIS way is an idiot.

    Similarly, I don’t want John Fleck to say “…and I totally agree” in any of his Journal articles. Yet, I seek out his opinions on his blog and mine.

    Succinct rules are very nice. Grau ist alles.


  2. Plus, I do not believe for one moment that S&W actually addresses anything to bloggers. No doubt it was the cast of Fox News that they had in mind with this one….

  3. OK, it’s my opinion that all us bloggers should ignore Strunk and White on this point. But it’s also my opinion that Chantal is foolish if she doesn’t like Strunk and White.

    I also think the 1927 Yankees were the best baseball team ever, and Emacs is better than Vi.

  4. Since to me, everything is about me, I took this very personally, John.

    But the first part says, “Unless there is a good reason for its being there…”. IMO, there are very very good reasons.

    Affectionately, not gratuitously, Coco

  5. Pingback: jfleck at inkstain » Blog Archive » Why I Love Cocoposts

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