Quotes About Plain English

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Quotes About Plain English

As historical texts become rich and conceptually dense, readers may slow down not because they fail to comprehend, but because the very act of comprehension demands that they stop to TALK with their texts. In plain English, they pretend to deliberate with others by talking to themselves.
— Sam Wineburg —

While he has not, in my hearing, spoken the English language, he makes it perfectly plain that he understands it. And he uses his ears, tail, eyebrows, various rumbles and grunts, the slant of his great cold nose or a succession of heartrending sighs to get his meaning across.

— Jean Little

As historical texts become rich and conceptually dense, readers may slow down not because they fail to comprehend, but because the very act of comprehension demands that they stop to TALK with their texts. In plain English, they pretend to deliberate with others by talking to themselves.

— Sam Wineburg

It is an old observation that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric. When they do so, however, the reader will usually find in the sentence some compensating merit, attained at the cost of the violation. Unless he is certain of doing as well, he will probably do best to follow the rules. After he has learned, by their guidance, to write plain English adequate for everyday uses, let him look, for the secrets of style, to the study of the masters of literature.

— William Strunk, Jr.

Now," she said when all was ready and lit the silver sconces on either side of the mirror. What woman would not have kindled to see what Orlando saw then burning in the snow
for all about the looking glass were snowy lawns, and she was like a fire, a burning bush, and the candle flames about her head were silver leaves; or again, the glass was green water, and she a mermaid, slung with pearls, a siren in a cave, singing so that oarsmen leant from their boats and fell down, down to embrace her; so dark, so bright, so hard, so soft, was she, so astonishingly seductive that it was a thousand pities that there was no one there to pt it in plain English, and say outright "Damn it Madam, you are loveliness incarnate," which was the truth.

— Virginia Woolf

Our government should speak a common language with the American people - plain English.

— Alan Siegel

You appear to me not to have understood the nature of my body & mind. Partly from ill-health, & partly from an unhealthy & reverie-like vividness of Thoughts, & (pardon the pedantry of the phrase) a diminished Impressibility from Things, my ideas, wishes, & feelings are to a diseased degree disconnected from motion & action. In plain and natural English, I am a dreaming & therefore an indolent man. I am a Starling self-incaged, & always in the Moult, & my whole Note is, Tomorrow, & tomorrow, & tomorrow.

— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The English, the plain English, of the politest address of a gentleman to a lady is, I am now, dear Madam, your humble servant: Pray be so good as to let me be your Lord and Master.

— Samuel Richardson

The Constitution isn't written in Chinese, Swahili or Sanskrit. It's in plain English.

— Harry Browne

The North American intellectual tradition began, I maintain, in the encounter of British Romanticism with assertive, pragmatic North American English - the Protestant plain style in both the U.S. and Canada, with its no-nonsense Scottish immigrants.

— Camille Paglia

Mike, you ready? he said. The coliseum-like, bowl-shaped CompStat conference room behind him was a pen pusher's paradise, I knew. It was a place where innovative computer-model formats were used to illuminate detailed processes that were compared for effectiveness of indices of performance before implementations of flexible tactics to achieve the development of comprehensive solutions were discussed in a team-building environment. In plain English, it was a bureaucratic version of hell on earth.

— James Patterson

Jane Austen wrote six of the most beloved novels in the English language, we are informed at the end of Becoming Jane, and so she did. The key word is beloved. Her admirers do not analyze her books so much as they just plain love them to pieces.

— Roger Ebert

I am allowed to use plain English because everybody knows that I could use mathematical logic if I chose.

— Bertrand Russell

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