11.11.2006 kl. 21:05

Politics and the English Language is one of George Orwell's most famous essays. He examines political writing (and writing in general) in English, diagnoses its serious faults, and suggests remedies. In particular, Orwell states his beliefs of what writers should do:

Politics and the English Language
  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

In one of the most famous sections of the essay, Orwell quotes from the King James Bible, Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 9, verse 11:

Politics and the English Language
I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Politics and the English Language

He translates this verse into "modern" English like this:

Politics and the English Language
Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.
Politics and the English Language