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4.4 out of 5 stars148
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 1 March 2013
I thought that paying over £5 for an item it would be a book-its is a pamphlet-even has the Penguin price of 99p on the back.
I really did not consider that to be worth the money so got a refund.
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on 20 December 2013
I bought this for my son as part of his 'wider reading' for his A level studies. He is very happy with it.
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Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have come across Orwell's 6 rules for writing in the English language (and they probably work pretty well in other languages too) many times before. At school, I think, and also in the Army's manuals for staff writing "staff" English. This might have amused Orwell: the Army "thinker" would have homed in on the six, tabulated rules, while merely skimming the rest of the content. The first time I think I actually owned a printed copy of the rules was when I bought my first copy of the excellent Economist Style Guide. I absolutely agree with the rules - just like I agree (in an atheistic sort of way, you understand) with the Ten Commandments.

The thing is, I'm not so good at obeying them. And while I defer to almost everything that Orwell says, I just find it too convenient to do otherwise. The only rule I feel inclined to contest, however, is the first: "Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print" - the anti-cliché rule. Similes may roll off the tongue, but creating new metaphors is just too damn difficult. Given that most of us don't have the time or talent to create pithy new metaphors, I convince myself that it's an act of reverence to whomsoever first coined a metaphor (and it usually turns out to be Shakespeare or one of the writers of the King James Bible) to give it another airing. (Can you coin a metaphor - or just a word?) Without the odd cliché, most of we ordinary mortals will be writing lifeless stuff. And, if nothing else, I do find it interesting, from time to time, to research a metaphor and find out from whence it derives; Orwell would have preferred "where it comes from. So, this very evening I have learned the meaning of rift, as in "rift within the lute", a metaphor well worth bringing back into common usage, I'd say. (Google makes it much easier to conduct such research, of course, than was ever the case in Orwell's day, so I didn't have to trawl through the archives of the local library.)

So - I agree at least with 5/6 of what Orwell suggests, although I am far from perfect in applying even that 5/6. Even if you are too like me, however, this pamphlet is a brilliant call to arms both to writing better English, and even more so in spotting pretentious twaddle in others.
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on 22 February 2014
Orwell is talented and his writing his clear and concise. He is a good model of how one should write.
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on 23 May 2015
A voice of clarity that could be speaks as much about today as it does the past.
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VINE VOICEon 21 June 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First off, I'm a huge disciple of George Orwell, as a free thinker,radical activist and inspiring writer. However, I just cannot see the point in this cheap paper 26 page pamphlet? It's like one of those twee recipe booklets they put out in Weekend papers.'Nigel Slaters ten favourite breakfasts'sort of thing. Frankly,it's an insult to the great man's memory and I can't understand why Penguin would put this out???
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on 12 October 2015
Brilliant writing, read and listen to politics now.
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on 26 February 2015
fantastic brilliant amazing superb good
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on 13 December 2014
As relevant today as when written.
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on 6 July 2014
It is beautiful in its simplicity.
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