Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | April 16, 2009

Weekly Read-Along—April 17, 2009: Politics and the English Language

Material for the Stout-Hearted Reader to Ruminate

♦ Essays, Lectures & Speeches ♦

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George Orwell (1903 – 1950) is the pseudonym for Eric Arthur Blair, a British author most famous for his novels Animal Farm (1945) and 1984 (1949).  

Politics and the English Language (1946) is his most popular essay.  In it, Orwell criticizes “ugly writing”, which he describes as using vague expressions that conceal an author’s thoughts. His advice includes–

“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?”

Join others in this weekly reading event!  You can find the text at these websites: 

http://www.netcharles.com/orwell/essays/politics-english-language1.htm

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm


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