A Manual of the Mechanics of Writing

5 years ago

I bought for $10 this weekend a book published in 1921 called A Manual of the Mechanics of Writing.  For some reason, I love the formal tone of old writing.  Let me quote form the Preface:

This book is born of a convition that the subject of the mechanics of writing recieves much less attention than it deserves. The desirabilty of mere mechanical accuracy is reason enough, if this were the only reason, for devoting more time to this subject than is usual. Most teachers will agree that they only effective compostiion is accurate composition; and the outward manifestation of accuracy in composition is accuracy in the mechanics of writing. A "clean" writer-- this is, one who shows the same regard for good taste in punctuation, captialization,and the  preparation of a anuscript, that he shows in matters of dress and comportment-- is almost invariably a clean thinker; likewise the writer who is precise about the form of his thining is particular about the form of his composition.  

In this day and age we would be more likely to say: think well, write well.  Pay attention to details such as how you look and how you write.  

And todays way is quicker, but less charming, than the old way.  I'm going to add this book to the Old Educational Technology Collection.

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