Day 139: Philip Pullman


I have just begun Philip Pullman's volume of essays, Daemon Voices, and after the first selection I am enamored, so consider yourself warned that there might be a bit of Pullman in the coming days. This is him on taking care with language:

We should become attuned to our own utterances; we should install a little mental bell that rings when we’re using expressions that are second-hand or blurred through too much use. We should try always to use language to illuminate, reveal, and clarify rather than obscure, mislead, and conceal. The language should be safe in our hands—safter than it is in those of politicians, for example; at the least, people should be able to say that we haven’t left it any poorer, or clumsier, or less precise. The aim must always be clarity.