Strunk and White considered harmful?
The Elements of Style does not deserve the enormous esteem in which it is held by American college graduates. Its advice ranges from limp platitudes to inconsistent nonsense.
and on the popularity of the book
This was most unfortunate for the field of English grammar, because both authors were grammatical incompetents. Strunk had very little analytical understanding of syntax, White even less. Certainly White was a fine writer, but he was not qualified as a grammarian.
The article goes on to cite numerous examples at various levels of pedantry.
Many people including myself appreciate straightforward guidelines, a framework in which to think about good and bad ways to put prose together. Strunk and White does this better than anything else I’ve seen. Effective writing leaps off the page–picky rules can go leap elsewhere. As for me, I’ll stick with Strunk, though not as a religion. Sin and Syntax is another great roadmap to the wonderful wacky English language. -m