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Lessons in writing from George Orwell

Despite the zillions of words that issue forth from those who believe they can teach us how to write, it is often the old-timers who said it best … and most succinctly.
Take George Orwell, for example.

In his 1946 essay on Politics and the English Language he offered his rules for better English. They apply as much today as they did then. Among them are included:

* Never use a long word where a short one will do;
* Never use the passive where you can use the active;
* Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.”

Well said, George. They are points worth noting by all of us, and especially by many of the writers whose work I am given to edit and who dull their prose by using the passive voice where the active is needed to give some zing and pace.

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