Edwin Abbott

How to Write Clearly / Rules and Exercises on English Composition

How to Write Clearly, written by the Rev. Edwin A. Abbott, is a great paradigm of archaic English language. It was first published in 1876 and gives a lovely example of language as it was nearly 150 years ago. Abbott was an English schoolmaster, becoming headmaster of the City of London School at the tender age of 26. He was educated in mathematics, 'classics' and theology and after his retirement in 1889 he devoted the majority of his time to theological and literary pursuits.
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    Kez Kezhar citeretsidste år
    There is scarcely any better training, rhetorical as well as logical, than the task of construing Thucydides into genuine English; but the flat, vague, long-winded Greek-English and Latin-English imposture that is often tolerated in our examinations and is allowed to pass current for genuine English, diminishes instead of increasing the power that our pupils should possess over their native language.
    Kez Kezhar citeretsidste år
    The art of writing forcibly is, of course, a valuable acquisition—almost as valuable as the art of writing clearly. But forcible expression is not, like clear expression, a mere question of mechanism and of the manipulation of words; it is a much higher power, and implies much more.

    Writing clearly does not imply thinking clearly.
    Kez Kezhar citeretsidste år
    Force, elegance, and variety

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