Concluding Part: Avalanche Of Words But Sweeps Your Intro To Death

Concluding Part: Avalanche Of Words But Sweeps Your Intro To Death

Arup Chakraborty Updated: Sunday, February 18, 2024, 07:34 AM IST
article-image

Although I had to search, and did search, for the right words, I seemed to be making this descriptive effort almost against my will, under the kind of compulsion from outside. The ‘story’, I must suppose, have reflected the styles of various writers I admired at different ages, but so far as I remember it always had the same meticulous descriptive quality – George Orwell, Why I Write

A few books have changed the world throughout history. They have transformed the way we see ourselves – and one another. They have kicked up debate, dissent, war and revolution. Why I Write by George Orwell is one such book.

It consists of a few essays, and one of them is Politics and English Language, in which the old George gave a few tips to the upcoming authors and journalists.

His phrases ‘descriptive effort’ and ‘the styles of various writers’ tell us what we should do to improve our writing. Orwell always focused on lucidity, and preferred a simple to a difficult word and active to passive voice.

The author was averse to using a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech that we generally see in print.

He avoided foreign phrases and advised everyone to give up on them.

Ergo a writer should keep away from using foreign phrases scientific words and jargons which are barbarous. They simply make a sentence difficult.

It is better to use English equivalents of daily use. Good writing consists of simple words. It is, however, not concerned with pretentious simplicity or fake simplicity.

Although Orwell was averse to grammar and grammarians, he never wrote an ungrammatical or illogical sentence.

He said, “It has nothing to do with correct grammar or syntax, which is of no importance so long as one makes one’s meaning clear ….”

Reduce, diminish, shrink, lessen

Reduce, diminish and shrink should be used with care, because they are not interchangeable. Reduce, a transitive verb, should be used with an object. Both diminish and shrink may be used transitively and intransitively. So is the verb – lessen.

We cannot reduce the whole man to a cell in the social a social organism – E A Ross

Our western gable, where boards had shrunk and separated – RL Stevenson

Death does not shrink up his human victim at this rate – Charles Lamb

They climbed up…and the sound diminished below them – Graham Green

Only the time would lessen my feeling for my cousin –

A Harding

Writing intros

Much has been said about writing an intro or introduction to a story. Yet it is necessary to discuss the most important of good writing again, because any effort to get the beginning right is worthwhile, but if the writer fails to do that, the reader will stop there.

The problem is that whenever a few writers – especially the ones in a newspaper sit down to write the beginning of a story – they want to put together Pride and Prejudice and Old Man and the Sea in the first paragraph.

Ergo despite constant advice for writing the intros short and to the point, a few writers come up with complicated sentences.

Avoidable conjunctions

A good writer avoids too many conjunctions, relative pronouns, adverbs, and even unnecessary punctuations in an intro.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has rattled its traditional allies in post-Soviet Central Asia – The Economist

The intro consists of only 13 words. It says everything. If someone has to read your intro with care it is a failure. Editors of the spoken world should be more careful, because long sentences consisting of subsidiary clauses are a snare for the announcers and a puzzle for the listeners.

But a five-word intro – a man was killed on Monday – is empty. To fill it with the right words, one needs a certain skill. A writer achieves it only through years of practice. The thrust of an intro should be only on one idea.

Every good writer has stressed the need to shed the intro of unimportant detail. This includes sequence, source or news points, but the words that become part of an intro should contain their weight.

We must keep in mind that an avalanche of words only sweeps in intro to death.

RECENT STORIES

MP: Rowdy Man Attacks Govt Doctor With Stones For Referring His Wife To Other Dept At Gwalior...

MP: Rowdy Man Attacks Govt Doctor With Stones For Referring His Wife To Other Dept At Gwalior...

MP Shocker: 13-Yr-Old Girl Found 9 Months Pregnant; Alleges Rape By Neighbour, Threatened To Stay...

MP Shocker: 13-Yr-Old Girl Found 9 Months Pregnant; Alleges Rape By Neighbour, Threatened To Stay...

Pune Porsche Crash: Students Hold Candle March In Hometown Jabalpur, Demand Justice For Victims...

Pune Porsche Crash: Students Hold Candle March In Hometown Jabalpur, Demand Justice For Victims...

MP Weather Update: Nautapa Begins; Ashoknagar, Guna & Neemuch Declared Hotspots

MP Weather Update: Nautapa Begins; Ashoknagar, Guna & Neemuch Declared Hotspots

MP Updates: Power Staff Brutally Thrashed In Jabalpur; 3 Dead After Car Rams Into Culvert In Raisen;...

MP Updates: Power Staff Brutally Thrashed In Jabalpur; 3 Dead After Car Rams Into Culvert In Raisen;...