Politics and the English Language

If you consider yourself a writer of any kind in the English language, you need to read "Politics and the English Language" by George Orwell. It is a short essay that I return to time after time to correct my own poor habits. The briefest of excerpts:

I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Here it is in modern English:

Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.

This is a parody, but not a very gross one.

via George Orwell: Politics and the English Language.