I hate this book. I’m a lazy writer and loathe the rules, giving myself leeway and pretending that all my reading soaks proper writing into my brain. I’ve tried to read it closely a number of times over the years and always end up sighing and skimming. The latest attempt was due to Jessica Mitford’s urging in Poison Penmanship. Yes, commas should be placed before conjunctions that introduce independent clauses; yes, of course we should use definite, specific, concrete language; yes yes the number of subject determines the number of the verb zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
The only real help I got was definite info around further vs farther: “farther serves best as a distance word, further as a time or quantity word.”
Apologies to all my future editors out there, but I’ve got an 80% grasp on these ideas intuitively and will simply rely on the grammar nazis to set me straight where needed.