Rules Of Writing

Been reading Mr.Vinod Mehta’s “Lucknow Boy: A Memoir” for sometime now. Quite a lot of fun.

An interesting paragraph:

No manual or school can teach you how to write. There are no benchmarks or ten simple steps you can cram. George Orwell however, laid out some goalposts for the person in ‘doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase’, and the rules  ‘that one can rely on when instinct fails’. He then proposed six rules:
  • Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech wich you are used to seeing in print.
  • Never use a long word when a short one will do.
  • If it is possible to cut out a word, always cut it.
  • Never use passive when you can use the active.
  • Never use a foreign phrase or scientific word or jargon word if you can think of an everyday english equivalent.
  • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
I think this is something everybody should keep in mind.

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