Perhaps it was too obvious until now. What, you mean .. publish the diaries of the great writers, thinkers and statesmen of the past? Just like that? For all to see?
And now it is obvious. They’re publishing George Orwell’s diaries, one entry at a time, as if he were a blogger today. Genius!
For a blogger, the first reason to read them is the sheer relief that comes from seeing that even the great Orwell occasionally posted entries that are, well, banal. See, it’s no shame.
The other reason, of course, is that he is still Orwell, the same Orwell who, among other things, penned Politics and the English Language, probably the most incisive essay ever written on language as such.
- Never use a metaphor, 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 out a word, 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.
(Notice that the sixth rule is very British, meaning subtly ironic.)
And now: Could every custodian of every great person of the past who left behind diaries and letters please, pretty please, blog them? It would be a boon to mankind.