George Orwell rocks.

Continuing the simplicity riff..

I read the post by 37-signals, Complicating Simplicity, and Joel’s  post on Explaining Steve Gillmor.  They reminded me to revisit  a piece George Orwell wrote  – Politics and the English Language.  Most of us know George Orwell because of 1984 and Animal Farm, but he was a prolific journalist and essayist too.

His six rules.

(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.

The essay is 60 years old.   I’ll have to suggest that Gapingvoid adds it to his manifesto list.  

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3 thoughts on “George Orwell rocks.

  1. Jeeze, the person who designed that Asia website made it utterly impossible to read. White lettering on dark, uneven background, bold sans-serif typeface etc etc.

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