Fowler rules

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The following are the five basic rules for choosing vocabulary given at the start of The King's English by the Fowler brothers. They are found in the first chapter - pp. 14-17 of the 1931 edition.

  • 1 Prefer the familiar word to the far-fetched.
  • 2 Prefer the concrete word (or rather expression) to the abstract.
  • 3 Prefer the single word to the circumlocution.
  • 4 Prefer the short word to the long.
  • 5 Prefer the Saxon word to the Romance