Posted By P & L Blog

In "Politics and the English Language", George Orwell wrote that "vagueness and sheer incompetence" were the "most marked characteristics" of written English.


The essay, which he wrote in 1946, is considered to be one of his most influential non-fiction pieces.  The six rules he proposed for better, clearer writing still apply, even for documents that you want translated.  The translations will communicate your message precisely  in other languages if you follow Orwell's rules.


Before you submit your marketing materials, website or user manuals to your translations provider, review these rules and edit the copy as needed.  If you're not sure that the text is culturally appropriate for another market, give us a call and we'll help you.


Orwells's  6 Rules for Better Writing 


1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which are 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.


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