How to write with style, by Kurt Vonnegut, the 1980 edition

Larger size here, so you can read all the text. Writing Tips from Kurt Vonnegut, 1980, sponsored by International Paper Company. Shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by vintage ad archivist MewDeep.

Update: Oooh, here's a PDF of the whole ad series.


  1. These were included in our high-school blank notebooks back in the early 80’s. Always loved the Vonnegut one. I think there was a Bill Cosby piece about speed reading.

  2. As I was reading this, I thought, “This sounds a lot like Strunk and White’s advice” — and then I read that the author recommends their style book. We studied from this book when I was in high school in the late 90’s. I later heard a humanities student in college describe it as ‘hopelessly outdated’, but I’m not qualified to judge. It seems good to me, as do Vonnegut’s similar principles. 

    These days, though, I’m solidly in the group of writers expected not to express anything of ourselves in our writing. 

  3. Very nice!  I remember a couple of these from Omni Magazine:  “How To Spell” by John Irving, “How To Write A Speech” by Plimpton and the Vonnegut one.
    In fact, “How To Write With Style” was the first Vonnegut I ever read!

Comments are closed.