Tips from a master

Are we dwarves in the land of giants? This week, let us look at the words of the great writer George Orwell. The author of “1984” and “Animal Farm” wrote an essay on the English language entitled “Politics and the English Language”. However, his ideas can be adopted by writers all over the world. Here are some of his pearls of wisdom:

Never use a metaphorsimile 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 the passive where 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.

Is that clear? Sometimes, perfection comes with a small change in an adjective or a well-chosen word. We have already quoted Orwell (but let’s do it again) when he said, “Let the meaning choose the word.”

Claudio Visentin and Guido Bosticco


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