Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Importance of Writing Like Ernest

I've rejected the usual beardie image of Ernest Hemingway for this, a rather more clean cut one from his 1923 passport photograph.  But I'm not going to talk about this famous American author per se. One of the reasons is that I've never chanced upon anything that he wrote.  Isn't it funny? You think that you're a well read person and then Boom!  There's a sudden realisation that there's still untouched libraries full of stuff available.  Wonderful!

Today's post is for my blogging friends to introduce them to the Hemingway app that I've come across.  Anyone writing anything else might also be tempted to have a play.  Like me when I settle down to a five day essay writing stint in a couple of hours time.   Then again I thought academics liked it if you've swallowed a dictionary and used complicated sentence structures.  I may be wrong.

'Hemingway' aims to make your language 'bold and clear' rather like that of the great man that it's named after.  It tells you off by highlighting sentences that are hard to read, use the passive voice or when words can be simpler. It also seems to have an inexplicable hatred of adverbs.  When I've prepared my blog posts using the free version over the last few days, it's given me food for thought.  I've hacked at my writing a bit though doubt if anyone can tell the difference.

This piece of writing is my most Hemingway-esque yet.  Only one sentence might be tricky for you lot to get your noggins around.  It happens to be the first one.  There's just one passive sentence and none of those naughty words that describe doing at all.  I'm careful not to correct everything though. After all don't some of our flaws contribute to wonderful idiosyncrasy?


  1. The only one I've read (and read several times) is The Old Man and The Sea. Maybe I should have read others.

  2. Being American, there was Hemmingway sprinkled throughout Languae Arts curriculum. I think more of Hemmingway from the fictional portrayal of him in the movie Midnight in Paris and a biography on his interesting life. May need to give the app a whirl.

  3. The Old Man and the Sea s a very short book, just enough to cut your teeth on, give it a go.

    The first sentence doesn't sound like you... but that picture makes him look quite vulnerable.

    1. Funnily enough the first sentence is mine all mine! x