Good Quotes: Strunk and White

Good Quotes: Strunk and White

Sarah Coffey
Aug 8, 2008

"Choose a suitable design and stick to it."
William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

Strunk and White were referring to the elementary principles of composition when they wrote this, but we think it applies just as well to decorating. E.B White's home in Maine was an example of edited style. He wrote in a small white boathouse furnished with a simple desk and chair. We can imagine him writing the following words in just such a place: "In some cases, the best design is no design, as with a love letter, which is simply an outpouring, or with a casual essay, which is a ramble. But in most cases, planning must be a deliberate prelude to writing. The first principle of composition, therefore, is to forsee or determine the shape of what is to come and pursue that shape..."

For images of E.B. White's boathouse, see this article from Coastal Living.

Photo: The Elements of Style illustrated by Maira Kalman

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