George Orwell came up with six rules ‘that one can rely on when instinct fails’.
The aim of these rules was to produce language ‘as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought.’
Well, that must be the aim of every honest man, so I thought they were worth a look. They’re beautifully simple rules, too.
Number 1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
Oh all right, when I said these rules were simple I didn’t mean to imply they were easy.
Good grief, following this one involves picking our way carefully through the litter of poor over-worked words which lie exhausted all over our language.
And this, of course, requires attention and careful thought.
Thought? When writing or speaking? Attention?
Ah well, Orwell always was a revolutionary.
Word To Use Today: instinct. This word is from the Latin instinctus, which means roused, from instiguere, to incite.