Before you write anything, ask yourself these questions

Says George Orwell:

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:

  1. What am I trying to say?
  2. What words will express it?
  3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
  4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

And he will probably ask himself two more:

  1. Could I put it more shortly
  2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?

More here.

See also: George Orwell at Encyclopedia Britannica.

 

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The medium is the massage: on doing the same expecting a different result

James Shelley on his blog:

Put a group of people in a room. Give them a whiteboard, pens, and markers. Ask them to develop an idea.

Put the same group of people in another room. Give them pipe cleaners, Play-Doh, a stage, a guitar, and LEGO. Ask them to develop an idea.

How different will the ideas be that emerge from the two different rooms?

In other words: How do the tools we use determine what we come up with?… or whether we engage at all.

It’s a question worth asking – in addition to location, time and venue.

Perhaps our people fail to come up with new solutions or ideas because we always ask them for those novel ideas in the same meeting, in the same place, in the same manner, and using the same tools.

More here.

p.s. The tile of the post is not a typo 🙂

L’utilisation de l’anglais se banalise en France et dans de nombreux pays

L’utilisation de l’anglais se banalise en France et dans de nombreux pays. Ce phénomène ancien est aujourd’hui porté par la mondialisation de l’économie, dont l’anglo-américain est la langue véhiculaire. Si la classe dirigeante semble l’encourager, des résistances s’organisent. – via Le Monde diplomatique.

Il serait plus précis de parler de l’usage de certains mots en anglais; d’un lexique limité de mots empruntés du monde des affaires ou de la culture anglo-américaine. Les usagers de ce lexique ne sont pas pour autant bilingues. C’est-à-dire qu’ils ne parlent pas nécessairement la langue anglaise. Ils ne l’écrivent probablement pas non plus.

Les résistances? Elles ne sont jamais systémiques. Elles émergent davantage de valeurs partagées. Dans la cas qui nous occupent: aimer la langue, qui veut dire bien la parler et s’efforcer d’en découvrir les richesses et les contours.

Declarative sentences: on speaking with conviction

with, like, you know, interrogative intonation.

In an earlier post, Mali talks about what teachers make.

Interrogative Intonation

“People who fondly imagine themselves the subjects of their ‘own’ choices entirely will, in reality, be the most manipulated subjects, and the most incapable of being influenced by goodness and beauty. This is why, in the affluent Anglo-Saxon West today, there is so much pervasively monotonous ugliness and tawdriness that belies its wealth, as well as why there are so many people adopting (literally) the sing-song accent of self-righteous complacency and vacuous uniformity, with its rising lilt of a feigned questioning at the end of every phrase. This intonation implies that any overassertion is a polite infringement of the freedom of the other, and yet at the same time its merely rhetorical interrogation suggests that the personal preference it conveys is unchallengeable, since it belongs within the total set of formally correct exchange transactions. Pure liberty is pure power – whose other name is evil.”

via Peter J. Leithart.

Starbucks as unit of measure

via Fors Clavigera.

Do yourself a favor: skip three days at Starbucks and sign up for a subscription today.

 

Are you a nerd, a dork, or a geek?

Nerd Dork Geek Venn Diagram

via greatwhiteshark.com.