Take this phrase:
It was an unexpected surprise when a pair of baby twins was born at 12 midnight.Do you see the joke?
Today's browsing was particularly fruitful in the usage department. Did I ever tell you that one of my favorite books ever is the Strunk and White's The Elements of Style (Thanks Noel for talking about that in class once.) I was particularly distressed when I moved to my current city, and I discovered it was missing from my library. I am excited because it is required reading for one of my classes in the fall. Well, in my browsing today I stumbled on this essay by George Orwell, which is both on the same lines as Strunk and White and applicable to today's politics. Here are his rules for writing:
(i) Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
(ii) Never use a long word where a short one will do.
(iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
(iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.
(v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
(vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
I'm a big fan of clear, concise writing, so I like these rules. And the essay is pretty good too.Another site I discovered with the Fun with Words site. I'll be checking that one out in a bit more detail later.
And finally, courtesy of my pal Secret Knitter, comes a link to an NPR story about a grammar vandal. A grammar vandal? I want to be a grammar vandal! I'll be listening to that here shortly, so hopefully it's good.
Well, enjoy the Fun With English Day!