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.

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That Tweeting, Blogging, Microvideoing Meccsa Media Team!

LAST week 10 journalism students got together at  Bournemouth University and blogged the hell out of the 2014 MeCCSA Conference. They really did.

Across nine Twitter accounts and a live blog, they posted some 62,488 words: an estimated 43,000 words in 2,900 tweets, and another 18,988 by way of the live blog. That’s pretty near the wordage of a PhD thesis.

The MeCCSA coverage (#MeCCSA2014, @MeCCSA2014) was noteworthy not just in terms of the word count, but also for the spread of social media channels it utilised. Besides Twitter and the live blog, the team experimented with Vine, Tout and Vizibee to post 90-odd microvideos; engaged in realtime iPhone photography; curated social media with Storify; and created podcasts for Audioboo and iTunes (six-plus hours).

In the final 24 hours alone, as per this Hashtracking stats, the team helped create 333,065 Twitter impressions, reaching a potential audience of 85,324. Heres a snapshot of the most active Twitter accounts in the final phase.

And heres a taste of how #MeCCSA2014 played out is still playing out on Twitter (or check out https://tagboard.com/MeCCSA2014):

All in all, it was pretty much an interesting experience, and I will be back with another post on what we learnt from it later.

Could this be a first of its kind in volume of coverage? I cant swear by it, but I dont recall a student social media coverage of this nature unfolding on this side of the Atlantic. If you have done or know of something similar, do get in touch and we can hopefully compare notes.

In the meantime do meet the tweeting, blogging, videoing MeCCSA media team. In no particular order: Charlotte Gay,Ben Fisher, Polina Stoyanova, Jessica Foster, Patrick Ward, Gabriela Vlahova, Tazz Gault, Rachitaa Gupta, George Underwood, and Tom Beasley.

Is Facebook Marketing Going To Enhance Your Business?

If you’ve been paying attention to things online these past few years then you probably are aware of how big Facebook has become. This means that it’s a great place to market to people because so many people use it on a regular basis. Here are a few ideas on how to get a Facebook marketing plan underway.

Do not sign up for a Facebook account and expect the name of your brand to speak for itself. Even if the brand you are marketing is fairly well established, you still need to do work to make it even more popular. Failing to do this may result in you losing some of your fans.

Sponsoring a contest can be a fantastic way to get more followers on Facebook. Take advantage of this great idea. Offer prizes or discounts to your users when they like your page. If you do offer a cash or gift prize, though, make sure it is actually awarded. Be honest in business, of course.

Use Facebook to share links to your site. You should try writing weekly articles or launching a video blog so you can create more content on a regular basis. Your audience will subscribe to your updates on Facebook if you create quality content. Make sure you mention your Facebook campaign in your articles or videos.

One way to target your customers with specific ads is to add your email list to the “custom audience” feature on Facebook. This method will lower your campaign cost and increase your page’s conversion rate due to the fact that more leads will turn to actual sales.

If you do not have time in the day to maintain a Facebook page, you should get someone else to do it. People will notice if your messages become to brief and start to lack substance. It is perfectly acceptable to have someone else run the page while you work on other aspects of the business.

Don’t think of your fans as numbers. That’s a big no-no in Facebook marketing. You aren’t collecting numbers, you are building brand champions. You are creating a community of people who love your company or brand. Treat them with the respect that they are due. These people can make a difference for your company.

Make content on your Facebook page exclusive. People tend to love what they think is “out of reach.” Try offering something valuable to your audience in exchange for them to “Like” your page. This is a win-win situation for everyone. Some businesses have offered free products like e-Books just for “Liking” their page.

Post status updates on a regular basis. In order for your page to be seen, you will need to post things, such as status updates. These status updates should be relevant to your company and not random things that your audience will not care about. Try to post something at least every day or two.

You should post videos regularly on Facebook. A video should be much easier to notice than a text update and can be used to share a lot of information with your audience. If you cannot find quality videos your audience will be interested in, consider launching your own video blog.

Don’t use Facebook Update too often. This helps you send messages to all of your followers. But, it states you can only do so for important events, such as emergencies. This is not a tool to be used for promotional purposes but to show that you care about keeping customers informed of real news.

Promote your Facebook posts on Twitter. Twitter is an amazing social media for link sharing. If you take the time to craft some excellent Facebook posts, then get the word out by passing it through your Twitter stream. Don’t be afraid to tweet it a few times over the course of the week to help the content gain some traction.

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about Facebook marketing you should be able to put what you’ve learned into your marketing plans. Make sure that you stay on top of things because social media is still fairly new and could change at any time. Now the only thing left to do is to get out there and be successful!

PS: If you are into microvideos, check out Vizibee.com. Very useful tool, in development.…

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