I understand what it takes to earn the Strunk & White badge, but where does the name of the badge come from? What does the name mean or refer to?


4 Answers 4


William Strunk Jr. & E. B. White were the co-writers of The Elements of Style, a popular American English writing style guide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elements_of_Style (via google)


While the other answerers identified the style guide The Elements of Style correctly, Strunk and White were not co-authors, at least in the traditional sense.

William Strunk was a professor of English at Cornell about a hundred years ago, and E.B. White ... took English with him in 1919, purchasing as a required text the first edition, which Strunk had published privately. After Strunk's death, White ... was asked by Macmillan to revise and expand Elements for commercial publication. It took off like a rocket (in 1959) and has sold millions.

(Emphasis mine.)

Taken from a Chronicle of Higher Education article which goes on to criticize some portions of the book.

  • 1
    +1 simply for a fascinating link. Commented Aug 27, 2010 at 18:09
  • Here's a link to the article which doesn't require subscription.
    – John Y
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 22:15

Strunk & White are the authors of The Elements of Style, an American English writing style guide.


Look up the Elements of Style at Amazon. Strunk and White is a reference to the authors of the book on editing on which all editing practices have since drawn.

  • 4
    "on which all editing practices have since drawn" is... a bit hyperbolic at best.
    – Pops
    Commented Aug 27, 2010 at 15:12
  • @Popular Demand: However, it might not be too far from the truth. I'd expect anybody who writes usage guidelines to have studied S&W, and therefore it's conceivable that all usage guidelines in the US have been influenced by S&W. I would expect most usage guidelines to have been influenced. Commented Aug 27, 2010 at 17:58

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