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Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it.
Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.” Orwell continues: “In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible....
Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.” In our time, too.
and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself.” Reach me at @hiltzikm on Twitter, Facebook, Google or by email.
Passarella AP Lang January 27 2014Politics and the English Language: Questions on Rhetoric and Style1: Orwell's thesis is somewhat stated, but also implied.
The winner and still champ, Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” stands as the finest deconstruction of slovenly writing since Mark Twain’s “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses.” Orwell’s essay, published in 1946 in Cyril Connolly’s literary review Horizon, is not as sarcastic or funny as Twain’s, but unlike Twain, Orwell makes the connection between degraded language and political deceit (at both ends of the political spectrum).
“The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable,’ he writes, then points a finger at words like democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic and justice.“Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way....Statements like Marshal Pétain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive.He observes: “Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” The remedy is to insist on simple English.“If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy ...Professor Harold Laski (Essay in Freedom of Expression) 2.Above all, we cannot play ducks and drakes with a native battery of idioms which prescribes egregious collocations of vocables as the Basic put up with for tolerate, or put at a loss for bewilder. On the one side we have the free personality: by definition it is not neurotic, for it has neither conflict nor dream. Timidity here will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul.That shows how prose consists of words that aren't necessarily chosen for their meaning, but instead just because it's easy.In Paragraph 12, Orwell uses a similie to compare someone "choking" to "tea leaves blocking a sink", which shows how the author knows what he wants to say, but sometimes he has too many "stale phrases" in his head. Licensed under CC Attribution Share Alike 2.0 license" data-lightbox="media-gallery-1567787960"In paragraph 15, Orwell uses a similie to compare "a mass of Latin words fall upon the facts" to "soft snow", which blurs the outlines, and covers up the details.It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes.Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.