"But if he has any spirit, he’ll murmur a well-chosen four-letter word and go out and get stoned. Or if he is exceptionally thoughtful, he may explore the contradictions embedded in these commandments...."
Writes Richard Lanham (in 1974, quoted by Mark Liberman, at Language Log) protesting the "commandments" laid down (purportedly) in books about writing style.
I detect some snobbery, as if it's low class to take the basics of writing style seriously. Those in the know can bypass that cant about clarity and... what?
ADDED: I've corrected this to show that Liberman was quoting Lanham. I knew Liberman was mostly quoting Lanham, but there are so many ins and outs of blocking and indenting that my eye lost track of where one author ended and the other began. I should have paid more attention to the reek of snobbery, because it's something people today are more fastidious about.