Orwell is Alive and Pretty Sick

“The whole tendency of modern prose is away from concreteness…. As I have tried to show, 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–to say In my opinion it is a not unjustifiable assumption that than to say I think. If you use ready-made phrases, you not only don’t have to hunt about for words; you also don’t have to bother with the rhythms of your sentences, since these phrases are generally so arranged as to be more or less euphonious.”


from Why I write by George Orwell


Orwell concludes that the writer who writes this way–by means of mimicry–“is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is naming; in other words he is not really thinking.”