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Politics and English Language by George Orwell

  • Date Submitted: 04/01/2011 05:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57 
  • Words: 572
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Politics and English language is an essay written by George Orwell. In this essay he criticizes ’’ugly and innacurate’’modern English especially written English. He says that language corrupts thought and vice versa. ’’ The slovenliness in the language allows for foolish thinking, and this foolish thinking allows for slovenliness in our language.’ When we read this essay, most of us think that Orwell is right and we should do what he suggests us and change the cycle. Then we realize that is not easy to do that, because the bad habits that we have in writing give us a convenient and beautiful sounding sentences. However, this process of English declining is reversible and Orwell has a remedy.
At the beginning of the essay, he goes on to cite some passages from different authors and then he criticizes those passages for their staleness of imagery and lack of precision. After that, he lists some tricks that the authors use and explains them. Dying metaphors, verbal false limbs, pretentious diction, Marxist writing and meaningless words. A written text carries significant info about the author's knowledge, views, class, and inevitably his writing skills even if the author does not want to. By using jargons and such advanced literary figures of speech such as metaphors, one advertises his status, his knowledge, to unsuspecting readers, even if he used it incorrectly or inaptly. This is the reason English writing has become the way it is, i.e. a host of catch phrases, highbrow words, abstract idealisms, unnatural grammatical pedantry etc. It is also true that these decorative phraseologies are indeed a problem; however, they have been so ubiquitous as to become parts of the canonical English. Even the most donnish grammarians cannot say many of the “verbal false limbs’’ cited are problematic. In fact, a writing avoiding them will probably be unnatural.
I must find a way to consider this quote from the essay: “All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a...


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