George Orwell father of plain language

Plain, yes. Boring, no. Barbarous, never.

2010 is a big George Orwell year: the 60th anniversary of his death occurred in January.

John Rossi summarises Orwell's life work in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

George Orwell's advice on writing style is recycled over and over again, year after year, all over the world... for a very good reason: it is timeless.

It's hard to beat Orwell's clear, simple, focused tips, expressed in a style both simple and civilised.

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech that you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word when a short word will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut out a word, always cut it out.
  4. Use the active rather than passive voice.
  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.

Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

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