Politics and the english language by

Instead of being a single word, such as break, stop, spoil, mend, kill, a verb becomes a phrase, made up of a noun or adjective tacked on to some general-purpose verb such as prove, serve, form, play, render.

This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.

The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Adjectives like epoch-making, epic, historic, unforgettable, triumphant, age-old, inevitable, inexorable, veritable, are used to dignify the sordid process of international politics, while writing that aims at glorifying war usually takes on an archaic colour, its characteristic words being: In 5words and meaning have almost parted company.

Orwell noted the deliberate use of misleading language to hide unpleasant political and military facts and also identified a laxity of language among those he identified as pro-Soviet. In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. It is easier — even quicker, once you have the habit — to say In my opinion it is not an unjustifiable assumption that than to say I think.

However as he stated early this course is reversible by all writers if they are willing to follow his six rules. I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort.

Politics and the English Language Quotes

Clearly he found the construction useful in spite of his advice to avoid it as much as possible". Never use a long word where a short one will do.

Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? The first contains forty-nine words but only sixty syllables, and all its words are those of everyday life. She would use simple passages from the King James Bible and then "translate" them into poor English to show the clarity and brilliance of the original.

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. And he will probably ask himself two more: There is a long list of flyblown metaphors which could similarly be got rid of if enough people would interest themselves in the job; and it should also be possible to laugh the not un- formation out of existence 3to reduce the amount of Latin and Greek in the average sentence, to drive out foreign phrases and strayed scientific words, and, in general, to make pretentiousness unfashionable.

When these images clash — as in The Fascist octopus has sung its swan song, the jackboot is thrown into the melting pot — it can be taken as certain that the writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is naming; in other words he is not really thinking.

What one might regard as Democracy, another would describe as Fascism, but neither carries a definition in this instance, but merely a positive or negative connotation.

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Timidity here will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul. Except for the useful abbreviations i.

Though these forms of politics affect a very minuscule populace and hold very little importance to outside parties, they are none the less politics.

He offers the opinion that these tendencies can be avoided if someone takes the time to do so. Look back through this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against. By using stale metaphors, similes, and idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself.

What am I trying to say? A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks.

This will result in political regeneration, but must be done by all English writers not exclusively professional ones.

As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: One could keep all of them and still write bad English, but one could not write the kind of stuff that I quoted in those five specimens at the beginning of this article.

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. The range of verbs is further cut down by means of the -ize and de- formations, and the banal statements are given an appearance of profundity by means of the not un- formation.

George Orwell

Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.

These save the trouble of picking out appropriate verbs and nouns, and at the same time pad each sentence with extra syllables which give it an appearance of symmetry.Politics and the English Language George Orwell { 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.

“Politics and the English Language,” though written inremains timely for modern students of language.

George Orwell’s: Politics and the English Language- Thesis and Analysis

In this essay, Orwell argues that the English language. 26 quotes from Politics and the English Language: ‘A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus.

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. George Orwell's widely read essay 'Politics and the English Language' links the decline of the English language to the degradation of the political. "Politics and the English Language" () is an essay by George Orwell that criticises the "ugly and inaccurate" written English of his time and examines the connection between political orthodoxies and the debasement of language/5.

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