Spring break keeps a rollin’, and today brings us George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language”:

I think the following rules will cover most cases:

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 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.

Rule 1 is one I always try to take to heart, but I often discard the second in favor of more beautiful prose. Ideally, I aim for something of a balance between Lovecraft and Holkins:

My mother had purchased a copy of Bratz for one of her grandkids, and was enraged (well, maybe just displeased) with the game’s insipid gameplay and lack of visual prowess. She’s unhappy with my progress in Zelda, which I thought was a radical new avenue of maternal complaint. I don’t know who this woman is.

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Categories: Good Point
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