In the interests of cross-cultural diversity, I thought I should just update my post on George Orwell’s six rules for good writing with the French academic counterpart.
I wouldn’t single out French academia–without any doubt, academic writers in all countries will applaud me–except that I happen to be re-reading Serge Lancel’s impressively researched biography of Hannibal. And, well, I did spend three summers in France, trying to read their books.
|Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.||Only use phrases that tenured professors or famous dead scholars have already used|
|Never use a long word where a short one will do.||There are short words?|
|If it is possible to cut out a word, always cut it out.||Say the same thing over and over again until you hit your wordcount|
|Never use the passive where you can use the active.||Only use the passive; anything else is for amateur lightweights|
|Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.||Use utilize Greek, Latin or Sanskrit terms. The more banal your thought, the more exotic the word.|
|Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.||Never break these rules. They are rules.|