Monday, July 31, 2006

George Orwell - Superstar! [link]

I read an essay by George Orwell, linked to above, about corruption of the English language. I have seen excerpts of this essay, but I never before had the chance to read it in its entirety.

Here is the money quote:

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.


These rules sound elementary, and so they are, but they demand a deep change of attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the style now fashionable.

Read it! Learn it! Live it!

2 Comments:

Blogger A. Truman North said...

Orwell was of a superrior genius, and probably a time-traveller.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Joanne said...

"These rules sound elementary, and so they are, but they demand a deep change of attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the style now fashionable."

Orwell would never have made it as an academic! Can you imagine how he would have confronted post-modernism?

12:39 AM  

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