liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Orwell on the English Language

As you may know, I write a lot. Can't help it, just spews out of my fingertips onto the keyboard. On this blog I write informally, I use slang, I don't worry too much about rules. I write stuff that I don't even believe, just to try out different points of view. But I find that I agree and for the most part already implement George Orwell's rules. This link goes to his still-apropos 1946 essay.

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. (Hemingway was the master)

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. (My personal favorite)

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 saying anything outright barbarous.
Tags: language, writing

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