How much of the advice we take is based on solid empirical evidence? Surprisingly worrying little! I’d love it if someone actually tries to put together an estimation (let me know if you know one!).
The Chronicle, in a surprising streak of opinion articles, finds that Strunk and White’s claims are mostly baseless:
Simple experiments (which students could perform for themselves using downloaded classic texts from sources like http://gutenberg.org) show that Strunk and White preferred to base their grammar claims on intuition and prejudice rather than established literary usage.
If academics take advice without questioning the evidence, I wonder what will save the general public . Good to see people at The Chronicle debunking BS; I have fallen prey of recommending Strunk and White myself…