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Politics and the English Language
Politics and the English Language | George Orwell
7 posts | 5 read | 7 to read
'Politics and the English Language' is widely considered Orwell's most important essay on style. Style, for Orwell, was never simply a question of aesthetics; it was always inextricably linked to politics and to truth.'All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.'Language is a political issue, and slovenly use of language and cliches make it easier for those in power to deliberately use misleading language to hide unpleasant political facts. Bad English, he believed, was a vehicle for oppressive ideology, and it is no accident that 'Politics and the English Language' was written after the close of World War II.
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quote
MattSessions

"Political language - and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists - is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind."

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quote
MattSessions

"In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics'. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia."

review
Izai.Amorim
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Pickpick

Short essay, 20 pages. Orwell points out that complicated language is used by politicians to obfuscate their real action and intentions, in short, to tell lies. He argues for plain language as the best way to get to the truth. He couldn't have dreamt that nowadays politicians would use plain language to tell lies - and get away with it. It's not about ability to understand political discourse anymore but willingness to believe what you're told.

Sue I often think of what Orwell's reaction would be if he could see society today and the way even the concept of big brother has been repossessed by the media. 3y
Izai.Amorim @Sue I think that his contemporary Huxley with 'Brave New World' predicted the future much better than Orwell. We don't need a big brother because we are 'amusing ourselves to death', as Postman said. The media gives us the 'soma' we crave and keep us sedated. (Soma was the drug they took in BNW.) But we have only ourselves to blame, don't we? 3y
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Improperlycookedblowfish
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Here is another example from Orwell's review of Mein Kampf. I get why people compare Trump to Hitler. I still think the comparison is a bit of an extreme.

Julsmarshall I would agree, an extreme, but dangerously closer than I ever thought someone would get in modern history. And getting seemingly closer each day 😞 3y
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Improperlycookedblowfish
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From Orwell's review of Mein Kampf. I'm not one to compare Trump to Hitler but I can see why people do.

review
Improperlycookedblowfish
Pickpick

Loved this essay. Need I say more? Lol.

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Improperlycookedblowfish
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Book Depository haul. 😆

MrBook Niiiiice! Give me anything Orwell. 3y
CherylDeFranceschi Fantastic haul! 3y
RealLifeReading Names for the sea was a pretty entertaining read! 3y
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