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Politics and the English Language, George Orwell’s Library


Orwell’s 1946 essay, “Politics and the English Language” is a classic. Mr. Orwell actually had six, not five, excellent rules for effective writing. Follow these rules, and you cannot go wrong. -CCE

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

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 saying anything outright barbarous.