Friday, November 10, 2006

Apocalyptic and the Beauty of God

I have my friend over at Becoming Human to thank for his link to this worthwhile sermon by Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright. It was preached at Harvard University in October, and explains elegantly in about 1000 words what I took a hundred or so pages to say at the end of my studies in Manchester.

I'm still learning to use George Orwell's rules from "Politics and the English Language" (1946):

(i) Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

(ii) Never us 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.

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3 Comments:

Blogger James said...

Isn't that a great sermon and article? (This kind of writing makes me think that in the battle of wits, my weapon isn't just blunt, it's imaginary. When I read Fowler's Modern English Usage, I said, I surrender! The Japanese have karate, Koreans have taekwondo, and the English have English.)

Charles N said he wore out his dictionary at Oxford, because we use a word with definitions 1, 2, 3 in mind, but they'd be meaning it in the sense of 4, 5, 6 (... 7, 8, 9, 10).

8:13 AM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

Hey James! I certainly know what you mean... no martial language skills here.

Great to hear from you.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Sasha said...

I love that essay by Orwell. Derek gave it to me to read a long time ago and I've given it to many students.

3:17 AM  

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