Photo: Wikipedia

I’ve rejected the usual beardie image of Ernest Hemingway for this, a rather more clean cut one from 1917. As an ambulance driver in the First World War Hemingway sustained serious injuries. He was so wounded that he ended up in a Red Cross field hospital for several months. Haven’t we learned after 100 years not to do this to our young men anymore? Anyway I’m not going to talk hostilities or about this famous American author. Today’s post is to talk about the Hemingway editor, a boon for anyone who dabbles in a bit of writing. I started using it for essays. They were so much easier to read afterwards. My academic work was readable. That’s got to be a first!

‘Hemingway’ aims to make your language ‘bold and clear’ rather like that of the great man that it’s named after. For an example, read ‘Old Man and the Sea’ if you haven’t done so already.  You cut and paste your work into the online app. It tells you off when your writing is too flowery. Sentences that are hard to read are highlighted So is the use of the passive voice and ‘big words’. It also seems to have an inexplicable hatred of adverbs.  

This piece of writing passes muster.  There’s just one each of those passive sentence and naughty ‘doing words’. The editor says that’s okay. When I first used this app it changed my writing style for the better. I’m careful not to correct everything though. After all don’t some of our flaws contribute to wonderful idiosyncrasy?

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