… E. B. WHITE’S “PLAIN STYLE” @75. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
It might seem self-evident that White the author practiced what Strunk and White the style gurus preached, but the truth is more complicated. Like Ernest Hemingway, who mocked his fans’ enthusiasm for the writing tips he dispensed, White had mixed feelings about being anointed a master of plain prose.
I read the 1959 edition not long after it came out, during the year I spent between high school and college. I never got the impression from it that the plain style was the only way of writing, but rather that it was the foundation for good writing. Once you had it down, you could safely go your way however and wherever you wished.