Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Publican on megaswill and doublespeak, at

When they talk smack, they need to be smacked down. It helps them learn.

george_orwellYears before most of us were born, there was an Englishman named Eric Blair, who is better known by his pen name, George Orwell.
During a lifetime cut regrettably short, Orwell spent much of his writing career pondering abuses and misuses of the English language. Orwell decried the mutability of language and words, particularly when these bastardized word meanings were deployed unnaturally, to become instruments of bad intent, or sometimes even de factoweapons against freedom itself.
Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. (Orwell)
In our day and age, we remember Orwell primarily for his anti-totalitarian novels, including “Animal Farm” and “1984,” the latter of which introduced the seminal concepts of “doublethink” and “newspeak.” Subsequently, another word was coined to meld these ideas into one enduringly disturbing tool for the use of dictators and advertising directors: Doublespeak.

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