Several years ago I undertook to update George Orwell's classic maxims of clear prose, from his 1946 essay Politics and the English Language, to better reflect modern sensibilities.
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or figure of speech which has been run into the ground.
2. Never employ a polysyllabic construction where a monosyllabic construction will suffice.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always be sure to cut that word right out of there.
4. The passive is never to be used when the active is possible.
5. Never use patois, neologisms, or argot if you can think of everyday English equivalents.
6. Any of these heuristics should be disregarded, if, in the course of putting them through their paces, respectively, one is impelled to commit unpardonable stylistic faux pas.