Monday, 9 December 2013

George Orwell - Politics and the English Language

I don't necessarily agree with everything Orwell says, but I'd recommend this essay to anyone. Undoubtedly it remains relevant - possibly more than it did in 1946.  

It begins: 

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. Our civilization is decadent, and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse. 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 ... (continues here

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