And deprives us all of the public space created by good, clear verbal communication. So wrote Tony Judt, the brilliant historian who died last week, aged 62, of motor neurone disease in a final essay published in today's Guardian. It advances the most passionate argument for the teaching and deployment of rich, plain English since George Orwell lambasted obscurantism in Politics and the English Language. If you read nothing else today - a deplorable thought - read this. After all, as Judt asks, "If words fall into disrepair, what will substitute? They are all we have."