For My 200th Post: Literary Criticism from Orwell  

Posted by Wayne Bretski in

Here's the best part:

I think the following rules will cover most cases:

i. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
ii. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
iii. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
iv. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
v. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
vi. 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.
From "Politics and the English Language". I encourage everyone who writes words for others to read to peruse this short essay. Here's one link: "Orwell's Politics and the English Language".


this is a great essay. very mrs. ellerhoff, i think.

I didn't realize he died so young.

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