Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page
I am in the midst of writing up UPA proposals. Wordsmithing, as they say.
I’m mulling my commitment to transparency, plain language and even uncharacteristic clarity (repeated aloud specifically because people will remind me.)
I’m acutely aware of the absence of my trusty editor, Doug.
I thought perhaps a quick reread of Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” might temper my tendency toward purple prose. Maybe it will also help you shape your abstract as well. In case I need to review it.
The key passage is below.
The rest of of Orwell’s essay, for the not so faint at heart, can be found here.
When you’re done with reading, maybe we can talk Grice.
From Politics and the English language
…. one can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails. I think the following rules will cover most cases:
(i) Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
(ii) Never us a long word where a short one will do.
(iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
(iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.
(v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
(vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.