Outline of George Orwell's Essay on Writing

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  • Topic: English language, Sentence, Language
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  • Published : September 25, 2011
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Orwell Essay Outline
* Introduction
A. The English Language
1. People don’t bother to use it correctly
a. Just assumed nothing can be done to fix it
B. Modern English
1. Full of bad habits
a. Especially written English
b. Can be avoided if you take the time to learn the right way 2. Habits
a. If you get rid of them, you will be able to think more clearly
b. Not only professional writers need to work on bad habits C. English Writing
1. Mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence
2. When certain topics are brought up
a. Hard fact becomes abstract
b. Words are hackneyed
c. Less words are chosen for their actual meaning.
ii. Phrases are just tacked together
II. Dying Metaphors
A. Newly created metaphors assist readers by creating a visual image B. “Dead” metaphors can be used as normal words without losing vividness C. In between these two types of metaphors are metaphors which have lost “word power”

1. Used because people are too lazy to create new ones
2. Used without knowing their actual meaning and are frequently mixed with incompatible ones
a. Sign the writer isn’t interested in what he is writing about III. Operators or Verbal False Limbs
A. These save the trouble of picking out appropriate verbs and nouns B. Pad each sentence with extra syllables, giving it an appearance of symmetry C. Passive voice is wherever possible used in preference to the active D. Noun constructions are used instead of gerunds

IV. Pretentious diction
A. Big are used to dress up a simple statement
1. Give off a sense of scientific impartiality to biased statements
2. Are used to dignify the dirty process of international politics B. Foreign words and expressions are used to give an air of culture and elegance 1. Except for the useful abbreviations: i.e., e.g. , and etc. , there is no need for any of the foreign phrases in the English language 2. Scientific, political, & sociological writers think Latin or Greek words...
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