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Re: Marx, Engel and Morris on George

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  • mattbieker
    ... Wow, I couldn t disagree more. For sure, George s Victorian prose is somewhat alien to modern readers (or at least those unaccustomed to reading
    Message 1 of 87 , Dec 25, 2012
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      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "John" <burns-john@...> wrote:
      >
      > -- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, Harry Pollard <harrypollard0@> wrote:
      >
      > > (Recall that Progress & Poverty has been
      > > used as an example of good writing
      > > in University English classes.)
      >
      > Harry, the original P&P was awful to read as it was written in convoluted Victorian English, which most cannot understand these days.

      Wow, I couldn't disagree more. For sure, George's Victorian prose is somewhat alien to modern readers (or at least those unaccustomed to reading historical literature), but I didn't find it convoluted. I actually find it sad that modern prose doesn't generally rise to that level.

      > Winston Churchill wrote very simple English that was designed for most people to understand. A friend of mine has a degree in English Lit. His writing is full of words most people do not know the meaning of.<

      George's works rarely left me scrambling for a thesaurus. I think that, most of all, the difficulty is with complex sentences. But that's where I think George excelled: he's accessible, because he makes complex sentences easy to parse. I'll concede that it's a pain to dictate, however!
    • Harry Pollard
      It all depends on what you are writing and who will be the reader. Unfortunately, modern schooling isn t great at producing readers so material must be made
      Message 87 of 87 , Dec 30, 2012
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        It all depends on what you are writing and who will be the reader.

        Unfortunately, modern schooling isn't great at producing readers so material must be made simple for them. Which point doesn't throw out other writing which may be more complicated as it conveys more subtle directions..

        Harry


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        On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 6:55 AM, John <burns-john@...> wrote:
         

        --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, Harry Pollard <harrypollard0@...> wrote:
        >
        > However, I suppose the short sentence is now
        > the thing, which may or may not be an improvement.

        Harry, tabloid newspapers use short sentences. People are familiar with that. So, you have to write to what they can easily understand. If they have to do double-takes they lose interest. It is that simple. Churchill realised that a long time ago. His books on WW2 and super easy to understand. The proof readers would highlight parts of the book(s) and he would override them. In the end they thanked him for teaching them how to write simple English.


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