Essays On Politics And The English Language

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You may find creative ways to break these rules without thereby being obscure or justifying mass murder.

But Orwell does preface his guidelines with some very sound advice: “Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one’s meaning as clear as one can through pictures and sensations.

What Orwell’s essay championed was nothing more or less than writing committed to plain sense, a process he described as “picking words for their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer.” Unfortunately, those who should know better, and more important, whose responsibility it is to pass along a healthy respect for language are often the same people who take a special delight in giving “Politics and the English Language” the scholarly raspberries.

That Orwell has a hard time passing muster among the composition theory crowd is now a matter of record, but I had a preview of the hammering-to-come during the late 1970’s, when my college’s director of freshman writing treated the English department to an impromptu stump speech about just how pernicious, and badly written, Orwell’s essays were.

If it is true, as Eugene Genovese once observed, that all political movements include idealists, careerists, and thugs, it is equally true that it is the “thugs”—that is, the propagandists, professional obscurantists, and spin-doctors—who do most of the writing.

Looking back at Orwell’s essay from the vantage point of a half century, one quickly realizes how it is possible to be simultaneously prescient and short-sighted, for Orwell could feel the intimations that would lead to our current conviction that “everything is political” without being able to fully imagine the pretentiousness and tin-eared jargon that such reductiveness would unleash.These are the rules Orwell suggests: (i) Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.(ii) Never use a long word where a short one will do.Those who care about clarity of thought and responsible use of rhetoric would do well to consult them often, and to read, or re-read, Orwell’s essay.“I’ve gotta use words when I talk to you,” Apeneck Sweeney tells his girlfriend Doris as he tries to explain how it is that “death is life and life is death.” Though he dwells near the bottom of the cultural food chain, T. Eliot’s protagonist nonetheless identifies a problem that has high-brow implications, and the 20th-century jitters, written all over it.I can’t remember the bill of particulars—probably because my shock and her certainty were on a collision course—but I do recall pointing out that if people couldn’t recognize the intrinsic greatness of an essay like “Politics and the English Language,” they wouldn’t know a first-rate piece of writing if it bit them on the ass.In those benighted days, when talk about literary values wouldn’t get you hooted out of the room, knowing why a work mattered And while I am not particularly proud of my intemperate outburst, I do take some small measure of satisfaction in remembering that my colleagues nodded in agreement, and that the Orwell-knocker in our midst was soon sacked. For example, I am not entirely sure how my colleagues would respond to a similar attack on “Politics and the English Language” were it to be delivered by somebody at composition theory’s cutting edge.He then went on to finish the sentence by making it clear just how debased most political writing had become: “and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.” Orwell had recently completed when he wrote these words.He had had a bellyful of the worst that willful obfuscation could offer and set about cataloguing the sins of dying metaphors, verbal false limbs, and pretentious diction.Long before efforts to destabilize language became a cottage industry and then a staple of academic politics, Orwell worried about the social implications of wretched speech.“All issues are political issues,” he declared with the same no-nonsense clarity that characterized nearly every paragraph, every sentence, indeed, every word he wrote.

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  • Politics and the English Language Summary SuperSummary
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    Science fiction author George Orwell’s essay Politics and the English Language 1946 is a critique of the conventions of written English in the modernist and post-World War II era, focusing specifically on the correlation between political correctness and intellectual and linguistic poverty. Orwell lambasts people who use language as a tool to obfuscate, rather than convey, truth, arguing that language, though political, should never be weaponized with the intent to exploit vulnerable.…

  • Politics and the English Language Essay Example
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    Politics and the English Language” is an essay by George Orwell published in 1946 where he criticizes the way written English language has evolved. Orwell uses five texts from various contemporary authors to identify in them the “perversions” in the evolution of the language.…

  • Politics and the English Language essays
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    In his essay, "Politics and the English Language," Orwell demonstrates how the English language has declined as a result of economic and political reasons. By examining the nature of language, especially in the political arena, Orwell successfully proves how the English language has been used as a manipulative tool rather than a creative one.…

  • Politics and the English Language Analysis Free Essays.
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    Politics and the English Language Analysis Essay Topic Analysis, language “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.…

  • George Orwell Politics and the English Language
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    Title George Orwell Politics and the English Language Author George Created Date 9/29/2016 PM…

  • George Orwell's Six Rules for Writing Clear and Tight Prose.
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    Most everyone who knows the work of George Orwell knows his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” published here, in which he rails against careless, confusing, and unclear prose. “Our civilization is decadent,” he argues, “and our language must inevitably share in the general collapse.”…

  • Politics And The English Language - 989 Words Cram
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    Work Essays Politics and the English Language May 1945 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.…

  • Politics and the English Language - Essay Example
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    English, Essay Topic Politics and the English Language Introduction In the essay, “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell expresses his intense urge for the correct usage of English Language and observes with regret that “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.”18 He makes an ardent appeal to all concerned, whether politicians, linguists and other types of.…

  • The Adaptation of Language An Analysis of Orwell’s “Politics.
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    Language is the basis of all human communication; one could even say language is the basis of humanity itself. In the essay “Politics and the English Language”, George Orwell explains the significance of proper and effective language.…

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