Writing: Keeping it Simple

Here’s something from George Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language”.  Within, there were six strategies in keeping writing simple:

(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.

With these six steps, there should be no excuse in leading someone astray.  Writing is an expression to be shared with everyone.  It shouldn’t be used as an elitist tool to intimidate or mislead.  It’s a creative way to share and direct.  We just need to keep it simple.


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