This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Nuts and Bolts: breaking the rules.

So here at last is George Orwell's sixth and last rule for using English.

Break any of these rules* sooner than say something outright barbarous.

See? The man was a genius.

He knew that the slippery, dazzling, shifting and extraordinary thing that is the English language will always slip laughing away from the weight of any rule - and here he is undermining all his own in eleven words.

And all respect to him, too.

Word To Use Today: barbarous. This word comes from the Greek word barbaros, which imitates the odd (to Greeks) sound of non-Greek speech. There's a Sanskrit word barbara, too, which means stammering.

*Here are the links to The Word Den posts on Orwell's other rules.

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