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Saturday, 28 May 2011

Wisdom from beyond the grave, and a book I must get

You may have noticed that pretty regularly I comment on the crass language used by people who email me in the wasted hope of selling things I don't need or are attempts to rip me off.

Yesterday in facebook I remarked on something I had received, headed: "Introducing the worlds most dynamic and revolutionary jobs website".

I thought that even in a world of fatuous overclaim this stood out. Anyhow, this provoked a number of comments - and a good one from Jared Lazaro included a quotation from George Orwell

Jared wrote: "Does NO ONE understand that this sort of drivel makes them look idiotic?!?"

Then he quoted George Orwell:

"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink."

Few of those labouring in the weed-clogged marketing vineyard have read Orwell but for years in seminars I have adapted his advice from an essay called Politics and the English Language.

Sounds like a book we should all read.

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