Politics and the english language by george orwell thesis
Politics and the english language annotated
What are the six basic questions that a scrupulous writer must ask him or herself? Therefore, it is not always useful to oscillate the listener into an idea of empathy or the comprehension with the given context. Orwell points out that this "translation" contains many more syllables but gives no concrete illustrations, as the original did, nor does it contain any vivid, arresting images or phrases. 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. Statements like Marshal Petain 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. Orwell rationalizes how many writers use extraneous verbs and nouns to pad sentences and create the illusion of symmetry. I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer. How would you describe the overall organization of this essay? A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better. But all these are minor points. It is often easier to make up words of this kind deregionalize, impermissible, extramarital, non-fragmentary and so forth than to think up the English words that will cover one's meaning.
So far as the general tone or spirit of a language goes, this may be true, but it is not true in detail. I should expect to find — this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify — that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years, as a result of dictatorship.
This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one.
In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. In each of the following paragraphs — paragraphs 4, 5, 12, 15, and 16 — Orwell uses at least one metaphor or simile.
Professor Hogben 2 plays ducks and drakes with a battery which is able to write prescriptions, and, while disapproving of the everyday phrase put up with, is unwilling to look egregious up in the dictionary and see what it means; 3if one takes an uncharitable attitude towards it, is simply meaningless: probably one could work out its intended meaning by reading the whole of the article in which it occurs.
It shows a chain reaction, where the person starts drinking alcohol to combat a problem in their live, but then the alcohol eventually leads to more difficult problems. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides.
Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse.
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