Orwell On Writing Bad Metaphors

 

Modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy. It is easier — even quicker, once you have the habit.

That, from George Orwell. Much as I would like to, I can’t take credit for picking out that passage today; thanks must go to Maria Popova and brain pickings.

Have a look at her interesting analysis, George Orwell on Writing, based on his 1964 essay, Politics and the English Language.

Orwell’s thoughts on metaphors is worth re-quoting as well:

A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically “dead” (e.g., iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgels for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, Achilles’ heel, swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a “rift,” for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying.

While on this, can’t resist posting this resource, also from brain pickings: Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers.

Let me stop here, lest I end up using a deador worse still, dyingmetaphor.

A newly invented metaphor assists idea by way of evoking a visible photo, whilst alternatively a metaphor which is technically “dead” (e.G., iron decision) has in impact reverted to being an normal word and might commonly be used without loss of vividness. But in among those training there’s a huge sell off of tired metaphors which have lost all evocative electricity and are simply used because they shop people the trouble of inventing terms for themselves. Examples are: ring the modifications on, absorb the cudgels for, toe the road, journey roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no awl to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in bothered waters, achilles’ heel, swan tune, hotbed. a lot of these are used with out knowledge of their that means (what is a “rift,” for example?), and incompatible metaphors are regularly mixed, a sure sign that the writer isn’t always interested by what he is announcing.

Combining different selections of plants in a garden area holds the interest and adds to the enjoyment of the viewer. Merge contrasting plants to craft interesting combinations. Add big leaf plants with fine leaf plants and combine them with plants different in texture and color to create the most eye catching and interesting landscape garden.

If you are planting vegetables, choose varieties that don’t require processing in order to keep. For example, sweet potatoes and onions will keep for months as long as they are kept cool and dry, without any additional work on your part. This reduces the amount of time you have to spend after harvesting.

There are home solutions available to combat the powdery mildew you may find on your plants. Plain water with a bit of liquid soap and baking soda will do the trick. Spray this solution on plants once weekly until the mildew is gone. Baking soda is not harmful to your plants and will take care of the issue as well as any other treatment.

If your green thumb starts to wilt during thos

Store your seeds well. If you do not store your seeds properly, they will not last long. A great place to store your seeds in a dark spot that is cool and has low humidity. You could even use a refridgerator. You can use zip bags to hold the seeds themselves.

Clean your garden tools before you put them away. It seems strange to worry about keeping a gardening tool clean, but it’s actually very important for the health of your plants. Tools that are put away while coated in dirt can harbor microbes and even insects that can be deadly to your plants.