George Orwell is the pen name used by Eric Arthur Blair who was born on June 25, 1903 in British India. Orwell suffered from tuberculosis that was diagnosed in December of 1947 until he died in January, 1950. He believed that vague writing was a powerful tool of political manipulation and it could shape the way people think. In his essay Politics and the English Language (1946) he wrote six rules for writers:
- Never use a metaphor or simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
Andrew N. Rubin argues, “Orwell claimed that we should be attentive to how the use of language has limited our capacity for critical thought just as we should be equally concerned with the ways in which dominant modes of thinking have reshaped the very language that we use.”[119) (Information from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Orwell)