George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language is one of my favorites—at times a bit reaching, but often enough an excellent reminder of the value of clear language—and after re-reading it this morning, I pulled out these three rules for writing (in fairness, his list is a bit longer) that I’m putting here for no other reason than to remind myself of them:
- 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 the passive voice where you can use the active.
Public commitment at blogging best. Let’s see how I do.
* for more Orwell, check out this running transcription of his diaries 1938-1942, in “real time” seventy years later.