The Economist on writing

published: Mon, 7-Jul-2003   |   updated: Thu, 27-Oct-2005

Orwell wrote these words in Politics and the English Language:

  • Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print;
  • Never use a long word where a short one will do;
  • If it possible to cut out a word, cut it out;
  • Never use the passive when you can use the active;
  • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent;
  • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarious.

Mea culpa, but my bete noire is certainly breaking the penultimate rule in my writings.