George Orwell’s rules for writing


For general advice on clear, concise writing, it is hard to beat George Orwell’s rules for writing:

  • Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech that you are used to seeing in print.
  • Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  • 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.
  • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

—Web Style Guide

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