Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Orwellian rules for Writing

George Orwell's Politics and the English Language should be required reading for every blogger, writer, and especially every marketer.

He blasts sloppy, ambiguous language as a political tool but it applies just as well to marketing and writing in general. English, he argues, is increasingly sloppy just because we don't make it clean. He presents a few rules to solve the problem;

  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 say anything outright barbarous.

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