Orwell’s 6 rules of writing

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2009 at 12:36 am

George Orwell Journalist and author had a love of crisp incisive writing.  
I don't always manage it, but I try to follow these rules.

Orwell's Rules for Writers

1. If it is possible to cut out a word, cut it out
2. Never use a long word where a short word will do
3. Never use a passive when you can use an Active
4. Avoid foreign and technical words
5. Never use a metaphor that you have seen in print
6. Break any of these rules to avoid something outlandish

Orwell had a deep understanding of human folly and human nature. 

Most people have heard of 1984 but often overlook his articles and other publications. 
This is a shame as they demonstrate an intelligence and set a standard rarely seen today.

On Writing and Books

“Good writing is like a windowpane”


"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity "


“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”


“Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper”


“The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.”


" Political language – and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists – is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. "

On Truth and Freedom

" Speaking the Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act. "


“Myths which are believed in tend to become true.”


" To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle. "


“Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.”


“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”

On Life

“Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.”


“On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite all the time”


“What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?”


“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it”


" Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. "


" War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent. "

Posted via email from Urban Ascetic


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