• Robert Spicer

Bad English: Orwell’s principles and Parliamentary draftspersons

Orwell’s principles of good English could profitably be adopted by Parliamentary draftspersons, who do not need to be legally qualified, for example:

  • Clear thinking

  • Fearlessness

  • Avoid dead metaphors

  • Avoid foreign words

  • What am I trying to say?

  • What words will express it?

  • What image or idiom will make it clearer?

  • Is this a fresh image?

  • Could I put it more shortly?

  • Have I said anything avoidably ugly?

  • Avoid familiar metaphors

  • Avoid words which the averagely intelligent person cannot understand

  • Use short words

  • Use active not passive tense

  • Exclude Latin

  • Thoughts only have meaning if they are expressed in such a way that they can be understood

  • Theory constructed in an obscure way is meaningless to readers and makes sense, if at all, only to the writer

Bad writers are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin and Greek words are grander than Saxon ones.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Four green cryptocurrencies to watch

Regulators, investors and the public are increasingly worried about the carbon footprint left by crypto mining activities. Searches for green cryptocurrencies have surged in the past few months. Among

DoNotPay and popular facial recognition tools

Legal tech company DoNotPay is best known for its army of “robot lawyers” — automated bots that tackle boringonline tasks like canceling TV subscriptions and requesting refunds from parking meters. No