Orwell: Politics and the English Language

13 05 2006

Writing about web page http://www.resort.com/~prime8/Orwell/patee.html

Recently happened across this essay which recall from many years ago.

Among much else of interest it contains the following faultless instructions for written English:

Orwell pic
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never us 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.

Although written 60 years ago, this is still fresh. And am quite sure I don’t follow these rules most of the time.

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One response

13 05 2006
Paul Tavner

I am going through an Orwell phase at the moment. Thanks for reminding me to check out this essay!

COMMENT:

If only more senior managers were familar with these basics!

Sighs and thinks about the latter half of last week…

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