The Elements of Style

by Chuk Kittredge

Strunk and White's Elements of Style Strunk and White's Elements of Style

Kids -

The Style Page is back. See, we used to be big. Huge. Like bury me in a piano, not in a coffin huge. Like Elvis in the late '70s when he squeezed his fat, drugged-out ass into that little black number with the sequins. Larger than life. But somehow, in recent years, style on this campus has fallen off dramatically.

Style is everything. Style is an institution. Style is as ephemeral as mist, as tempestuous as the hearts of inebriated Carls. Style is the motor of this torpid world. Style outlives the wearer, and wears out the liver - if you're lucky. Style is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside my dancin' pants. Style is what I know best.

How, you may ask? How am I blessed with this chameleon-like sense of style, this uncanny ability to identify the gauche in all of us? How? I know, gentle reader, only because I have none. My cronies readily recall the plaid stage of late '00, the pleather pants spring term '01 - even the shirt-tucking days of yore, waaaaaay back when I was a freshman. And yet, despite (or maybe because of) these sordid misdeeds, these relics of my misspent youth, my eye is keen for the pomp and aplomb in our normally desolate lives. I can spot a dandy at thirty yards.

But even now, you ask yourself, must I revamp my look? Must the charm once again make its frayed, tattered appearance? The bedroom eyes tread those dusty boards for one last encore? The answer, you little munchkins, you fearsome sexy beasts - the answer is a resounding yes.

Style is more than a sum of its parts. Style is more than clothes, and less than looks. More than a twinkle in one's eye and less, I hope, than your grade point average. Style is patient, style is kind. It does not envy; it is not rude, nor self-seeking. It always protects, always perseveres. Style never fails.

Style is two paths diverging in a yellow wood, and your feet firmly planted on both. Style is the great equalizer, the universal solvent. Style is, and was, and forever will be. Style; light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Sty-le: the tip of the tongue taking a trip down the palate to tap, at two, on the teeth. Sty. Le.

So keep it here, kids. It will be a learning experience, an odyssey into the depths of the human spirit. A road trip to the pale underbelly of who we are. It won't be easy. There will be times - in the desert of style, that wasteland of hubris and bad hair - there will be times when there will be only one set of footprints in the sand. But you know that story better than I. So it's once more into the breach, dear friends. The choice is yours - you can come back with your style or on it.

Until next week -