Orwell’s Liar

David Beaver over at Language Log posts a much needed criticism of Orwell’s Politics and the English Language, an essay, which along with Strunk and White, is probably responsible for more prescriptivist crap than any other source. Orwell makes some valid points in the essay about clarity in writing, especially politically writing, but, as Beaver points out, his six rules for good English are inconsistent, illogical, and so inane that even Orwell ignores them.

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