E.B. White and quotative inversion

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For some documentation and discussion of the New Yorker magazine's curious aversion to quotative inversion, see "Quotative inversion again", 10/29/2009. And against that background, consider this sentence from E.B. White's 1957 piece "Letter from the East", quoted in my earlier post:

"Omit needless words!" cries the author on page 21, and into that imperative Will Strunk really put his heart and soul.

A careless slip of the red pencil? Or was E.B. White exempt from the dictum? Or was the no-quotative-inversion diktat imposed by a post-1957 New Yorker style maven? Perhaps someone who knows more about the history of that publication's quirks can tell us.

1 Comment

  1. Jonathon Owen said,

    April 28, 2017 @ 2:04 pm

    Well, he was apparently exempt from the that/which rule that he so vigorously promoted, so maybe it's no surprise that he didn't follow this one either. (I don't know enough about the history of New Yorker style to know whether this rule came after his time there.)

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