George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, published an essay in 1946 called “Politics and the English Language.” In it he offers six rules for better writing. I reproduce them here in Orwell’s own words.
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which 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.