Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

A few simple rules from George Orwell

with 3 comments

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 voice 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.

George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”

Written by nevalalee

January 28, 2012 at 10:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. These days I’m ambivalent about the Anglish leanings rule 5 suggests.

    Hi, when!

    January 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

  2. I suppose this page is the more topical.

    Hi, when!

    January 28, 2012 at 11:57 am

  3. I think rule 6 trumps rule 5. At least in this case.

    nevalalee

    January 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm


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