As part of my goal to be a writer, I am doing a unit with Griffith university in creative and professional writing. My compulsory reading this week involved reading a George Orwell essay: "Politics and the English Language"!
Here are some rules that Orwell thinks we should follow as writers, to improve 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 is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out;
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent; and
- Break any of the above rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
These rules sound elementary, and so they are, but they demand a deep change in attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the style now fashionable.
Coincidence that I'm being saturated by George Orwell at the moment.