Writing is frequently about style—grammar, punctuation, word choice, and so on. But a couple of articles this week compare writing style to clothing fashions. In other stories, you may pick up some advice from and about George Orwell, John McPhee, and writers who became actors.
Language is fashion. Sure, language doesn’t change at the same pace as fashion trends, but the fashionable way to speak and write has evolved dramatically in the U.S. over the last 100 years or so. This piece from The New York Times‘ Draft column shows how much, and occasionally provides the sartorial equivalent. Writer John McWhorter’s point is that just because you hear or see someone using “incorrect” language (“you was” was once the preferred choice of the refined crowd) doesn’t mean he’s dumb. It just means he’s out of fashion. Read the story here.