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Notes of [Elements of Style] by Strunk and White – I(b)

  1. A colon tells the reader that what follows is closely related to the preceding clause. The colon has more effect than the comma, less power to separate than the semicolon, and more formality than the dash.
  2. Join two independent clauses with a colon if the second interprets or amplifies the first.
    • The squalor of the streets reminded him of a line from Oscar Wilde: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
  3. The colon used in a title (of an article) separates the main title and the subtitle.
  4. A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses.
  5. Use a singular verb form after each, either, everyone, everybody, neither, nobody, someone.
  6. A singular subject remains singular even if other nouns are connected to it by with, as well as, in addition to, except, together with, no less than.
  7. Difference between gerund and present participle – the first sentence centers on ‘me’ while the other centers on ‘asking a question’
    • Do you mind me asking a question?
    • Do you mind my asking a question?
  8. A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammatical subject.
    • WRONG: On arriving in Chicago, his friends met him at the station
    • CORRECT: On arriving in Chicago, he was met at the station by his friends
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