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Critiquing Essay Using George Orwells Six Rules

  • Submitted by: sarafurioso
  • on June 5, 2011
  • Category: English
  • Length: 518 words

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Critiquing an Essay with George Orwell’s six rules
In Orwell’s essay he states that it is easy to slip into the bad writing that people have become accustomed to. It is difficult to go against the temptation of using the easy way out with meaningless words or hackneyed phrases that make things easier and require less thought.   Orwell concludes that the progressive decline of the English language is reversible and he offers six rules which can help avoid most of the errors in poor writing. In Brenda Chow’s essay The Writer at Work, she breaks many of the six rules that Orwell wrote to avoid the continuation of our language decline. Chow breaks the following 3 rules: never use a long word when a short one will do, never use a simile, metaphor, or other figure of speech which you are seeing in print, and never use a foreign phrase, a scientific or jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
The rule never use a long world when a short one will do is saying that long words don’t make you sound smarter unless they are used in the correct context, sometimes they have the opposite effect. They are also less likely to be understood and more awkward to read. Chow breaks this rule when she says “It would look innocuous enough...” (40), when she could have made it easier for the reader to understand by just replacing the word innocuous with the word bland. This rule is also broken when she uses the word gangrenous to describe flesh, instead of using a word that could create more imagery for the reader such as rotten or decomposed flesh, which is also easier to understand.
The rule that states never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent means that you shouldn’t be using words that will not be easily understood by your readers. When Chow says “It would look innocuous enough, a mechanical thingamajig in a small leather case” (40) the word thingamajig is being used as a slang or jargon...

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