18581933, English lexicographer, educated at Oxford. Both he and his brother, Francis G. Fowler (18701918), had been teachers before they began their literary collaboration with a translation of Lucian (1905). They also worked together on The King’s English (1906), a trenchant and witty book of modern English usage and misusage, and on The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English (1911) and The Pocket Oxford Dictionary (1924).

--- source: Columbia Encyclopaedia

Love him or hate him, Fowler has been the definitive guide to written english style for a century:

"ANY one who wishes to become a good writer should endeavour, before he allows himself to be tempted by the more showy qualities, to be direct, simple, brief, vigorous, and lucid."
"This general principle may be translated into practical rules in the domain of vocabulary as follows:—
  • Prefer the familiar word to the far-fetched.
  • Prefer the concrete word to the abstract.
  • Prefer the single word to the circumlocution.
  • Prefer the short word to the long.
  • Prefer the Saxon word to the Romance."

As with any guide to style, you can disagree with any or all of these, but it really is best if you know what you are doing when you decide to do so, and to be fully aware of the effect that this will have on your readers.

The King's English is out of copyright now and can be found beautifully presented on the web at: