11 March 2008

Orwell's Rules

A helpful guide for tightening your English prose:

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.

South Park has taught me to ignore the last one, but the others are pretty indispensable.


Pepper said...

I like this.

The Becca said...

I like it more. Orville, this might be one of my top 5 fave posts.

Pepper said...

Becca, tighten up: bodenner posted this.

The Becca said...


Orville said...

Incidentally, George Orwell is one of my favorite authors, after God of course. The King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is one of the greatest compositions in the English language, followed closely by 1984.