Friday, June 10, 2011

George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language"

Forget about the "Politics" in the above title and in the link below.  This is not a political blog.

George Orwell was a master of writing English prose.  Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm are probably what you know him for.  You also ought to read Down and Out in Paris in London, which is excellent.  If you have time, and especially if you are a connoisseur of good English, you should consider reading his four volumes of collected essays, journalism and letters, of which this is the first.

But if you are a writer, you simply must read this essay here.

Money quote: "modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer.  It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug."

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