Strunk and White's 'The Elements of Style': Verbing Some Guy Named Peter

The plot is that one day Strunk said, OK, let’s give a lot of examples about our life. White thought this was a pretty great plan.

Dec 9 2013, 9:30pm

The Book Report is a series that promises to deliver exactly what it promises: reports on books by the people who’ve read them. Catch evenings of live, in-person Book Reports that will remind you of the third grade in the best possible way with hosts Leigh Stein and Sasha Fletcher every month at The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street in New York. The next one is Tuesday December 10, and will feature reports by Gabrielle Moss Gili Malinsky, and Hilary Leichter. Everyone should go! 

This is a true story about two popular guys with a lot of style. They are really into possessions and objects. But OK, they are not possessive or anything, because I find that really unattractive. I don’t belong to any man, which is feminist. Sometimes in the book Strunk and White talk about other stuff too. When they talk about subjects, they are always in agreement. I think this is really nice because friends should always be in agreement, even when there are many friends doing only one verb. My friends and I were all doing only one verb, and we were all doing the verb to someone named Peter. Now we are not in agreement. Sometimes Strunk and White talk about periods, which is also feminist.

The plot is that one day Strunk said, OK, let’s give a lot of examples about our life. White thought this was a pretty great plan. Sometimes they give two examples about their life, and one of the examples is wrong. I thought this was fun and also an example of conflict, because they are lying. Peter lied to me once after he had lain me on the couch in the basement and we lay there for a while, all laid and stuff. He said that he didn’t preposition me, I prepositioned him, just so we were clear. Strunk and White say that prepositions should never come at the end of a sentence, and let’s just say that Peter broke that rule all the time. For example: “After school, do you want to come down to my basement?” Or, “The sky is nice, do you want to come down to my basement?” He broke my heart, basically. Then we broke up. Or as Strunk and White would say: up we broke then. This is an example of how the book applies to my own life, and is also my topic sentence.

Strunk and White have a lot of friends and they describe them with clauses. They are friends with Virginia Woolf and Uncle Bert and Napoleon and our oldest daughter, Mary, for example. My old friends are not very nice, which is a restrictive clause. They are bossy and have a lot of rules, which makes them kind of like Strunk and White (Which is kind of a simile). One day White said, “Do you think we’re being bossy?” and Strunk said OK, let’s give a glossary at the end of the book, which is like answers to a test, not that I know about stuff like that. I have never seen answers to a test, especially not on our teacher's desk, and not even in her drawer.

In conclusion, I really like how we don’t know what the characters look like, which would be prejudiced. I also do not like love stories, so that is good. I think that the book is about vampires, which is symbolism. Strunk and White say to omit needless words which is why my book report is so short. I will now place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end. The End, Vampires.

More from Hilary Leichter and The Book Report on VICE:

Aiding and Abetting by Hilary Leichter

'Macbeth': In the Context of Ghosts by Sasha Fletcher

This Is Emotions: On Gary Shteyngart's 'Super Sad True Love Story' by Leigh Stein

Vice Channels