Politics and the English Language

Politics and the English Language 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

  • Title: Politics and the English Language
  • Author: George Orwell
  • ISBN: 9780141393063
  • Page: 396
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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, langua 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.

    • Politics and the English Language : George Orwell
      396 George Orwell
    • thumbnail Title: Politics and the English Language : George Orwell
      Posted by:George Orwell
      Published :2019-06-23T22:48:37+00:00

    About "George Orwell"

    1. George Orwell

      Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a a police officer with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922 1927 and fought with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 1937 Orwell was severely wounded when he was shot through his throat Later the organization that he had joined when he joined the Republican cause,The Workers Party of Marxist Unification POUM , was painted by the pro Soviet Communists as a Trotskyist organization Trotsky was Joseph Stalin s enemy and disbanded Orwell and his wife were accused of rabid Trotskyism and tried in absentia in Barcelona, along with other leaders of the POUM, in 1938 However by then they had escaped from Spain and returned to England Between 1941 and 1943, Orwell worked on propaganda for the BBC In 1943, he became literary editor of the Tribune, a weekly left wing magazine He was a prolific polemical journalist, article writer, literary critic, reviewer, poet and writer of fiction, and, considered perhaps the twentieth century s best chronicler of English culture Orwell is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty Four published in 1949 and the satirical novella Animal Farm 1945 they have together sold copies than any two books by any other twentieth century author His 1938 book Homage to Catalonia, an account of his experiences as a volunteer on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War, together with numerous essays on politics, literature, language, and culture, are widely acclaimed.Orwell s influence on contemporary culture, popular and political, continues decades after his death Several of his neologisms, along with the term Orwellian now a byword for any oppressive or manipulative social phenomenon opposed to a free society have entered the vernacular.


    1. Note the first word of the title: Politics. It's important. “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”This essay demonstrates how political writers use language to persuade, dissemble, and deceive, and conversely, how to write factual information in a way that is honest and clear. It is also a rant that is easily misapplied to perpetuate prescriptive nonsense, regardless of context. It’s a muddle. I hate the opening (“Most people who bother with the matter at all [...]

    2. This was an insightful and relevant lesson about the usage and analysis of English language in the Political context. Orwell with his sharp wit and influential prose has given us enough food for thought to mull over. It’s possible that next time while reading a newspaper or watching news channels, you’ll find yourself forming a critique about the manipulation of facts and trivializing of important matters in today’s times. Here are some quotes which I found particularly wonderful:- In our [...]

    3. The essay, in its entirety, can be found here: npr/blogs/ombudsman/PoThis essay measures in at just 24 pages and yet manages to convey so much in it's punchy and impactful style. As the title so aptly describes, this concerns the politics surrounding the usage of the modern English language. Orwell's view is that Modern English has become a mess of abstractness, inaccuracies and slovenliness and this essay attempts to relay exactly where we all went so wrong.Instead of using fresh and individual [...]

    4. Not a long book, yet it’s packed with instructions and ideas of how Modern English is regressing and devolving and being absurd. Orwell stats that one must not use foreign words, or use verbal false limbs And the use of meaningless words He wants the English used to be assessable, concise. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will doIf it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out Never use [...]

    5. Orwell is a man after my own heart. This essay is basically about people using the English language incorrectly and why all political writing is bad, plus, a review of Mein Kampf! Orwell's stance on the English language is the same as mine, the language is fine the way it is, stop changing it! However, I do disagree with Orwell on one thing. Orwell states that one should should never use complicated words. He says that if you think if writing a big, complicated word but there is a plain simple E [...]

    6. One of the greatest essays I have ever read about the relation between language and politics. A must-read for writers, and any one interested in deconstructing political discourse.Orwell's precise, clear and simple language is an example of how theoretical and political discourse should be rather than the meaningless and pretentious endless formations of misused jargon we encounter nowadays in newspapers and books.

    7. Sentence 1 : I had this burning sensation of shame while absorbing myself in this essay. Sentence 2 : I was ashamed of myself while reading this essay.Which sentence do you find easier to understand?This essay is like a simple term paper with objective analyses and conclusions. Or I’d rather say that George Orwell was like a psycho-linguist studying the words we usually use as specimens. First, he presented five passages he picked from articles. Second, he discussed the theories of phraseology [...]

    8. Fresh on the heels of 1984, I read Will Self's shoddy argument against all things Orwell replete with every logical fallacy in the book. Considering what a short essay this is, it seemed like a good time to read it.Orwell's rules for writing here are specifically with respect to politics and not the literary use of language. He states it so clearly that it's surprising how anyone could think otherwise. Orwell even confesses that he tends to do the same things that he writes against in this essay [...]

    9. Before I get to Orwell and the essay, I must do something I never thought I would do--quote the Leviathan: With Selected Variants from the Latin Edition of 1668 in a positive manner: "Special uses of speech are these: first, to register what by cogitation we find to be the cause of anything, present or past; and what we find things present or past may produce, or effect; which, in sum, is acquiring of arts. Secondly, to show to others that knowledge which we have attained; which is to counsel an [...]

    10. Orwell describes how language can affect thought. The essay is full of examples about how vague expressions convey much more unclear meanings than "simple" expressions, and how frequently used phrases can even do the thinking for you. I believe what Orwell is talking about is true for more than just politics and for more than just the English language. Fictional and non-fictional writings are also suffering from the use of bad language. The two languages that I speak fluently (i.e. Armenian and [...]

    11. Language is important, it is not just a combination of sounds as I used to think. A poor language implies poor ideas which imply a weak society, and poor ideas lead to a poor language Orwell will always make me think, this is my first essay by him and surely not the last. Read it read it read it !

    12. Este livro chegou exactamente hoje às minhas mãos e li-o com imenso prazer. Não só porque o tema que o Orwell aqui desenvolve me é familiar, como é um tema intemporal. Através de 23 páginas Orwell relembra-nos o poder da escrita clara, concisa e metódica. De como a linguagem terá sempre um propósito e de como as palavras devem ser tratadas com respeito e em consideração pelo seu significado.Encontro-me neste momento em vias de iniciar a escrita de uma tese. Curiosamente, fui apelida [...]

    13. “Politics and the English Language” is an essay written by the novelist George Orwell and published in 1946. It criticizes the written English of his time. Orwell argues for a writing style that is plain and transparent. The most important thing in writing is to make one’s meaning clear.Orwell brings up numerous problems that plague writers’ works. The most important of these issues is the use of canned phrases. Many writers do not take the time to craft new sentences with select words t [...]

    14. Free download available at Faded Page.This work is in the Canadian public domain, but may be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this file.I made the proofing (P2) of this book for DP-Canada and it will be published by Faded Page.The essays with publication dates are:Politics and the English language (1946)Politics vs. Literature: an examination of Gulli [...]

    15. You know when you stumble onto a passage in writing that articulates your thoughts for you better than you are able? In fact, helps those thoughts to grow to adult height? This essay was one of those for me, in its entirety. It discusses our chronic lack of clarity in writing and the muddled and vague thinking unclarity props up. Now working in development, the essay feels like some combination of vaccination, antidote and prescription sunglasses.An excerpt: "Now that I have made this catalogue [...]

    16. I'll just leave this unrated as it is so short and old.It was an interesting read, giving me something to think about and mostly wondering what he would say to the language of today's English speaking politics.

    17. I liked this very short little essay. I’m a big fan of language and am well aware of the way it can be used to influence people both at a micro and the macro political level. Orwell wrote this in around 1945 and it still applies today probably even more so. The book is about the way media and politicians and consultants today in my case, have an inability to just talk straight forward English and will find the longest most convoluted ways to express a simple idea. As Orwell implicates, often t [...]

    18. Don't be put off by the word 'politics' in the title. This guide deals with language - spoken or written - and how to express oneself clearly in words. Orwell's rules of writing are as relevant today as they were when he wrote them, perhaps even more so in this age of grammatical vandalism. Using examples of vacuous political writing, Orwell critically shreds them, driving home the importance of clarity and specificity in language. To make his points, Orwell critiques shambolic political prose, [...]

    19. This essay should be required reading for anybody who writes so much as a daily email or social media post. Virtually every word continues to resonate more than seventy years after it was published and this passage, to take just one of many examples, could have been written yesterday:“The English language becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. If thought corrupts language, language can [...]

    20. make pretentiousness unfashionable. The very essence of this majestic essay of George Orwell is to elucidate and help the general (interested) mass to understand how far language as a tool is used repeatedly to manipulate, subvert and to lie in the realm of politics. Or, if one needs to be more precise, this essay is about how language is being used by those in power to gain their desired ends, which in most cases is morally unjust, without ever irking the masses whom they profess to serve.Histo [...]

    21. Προβληματίζομαι με τον Όργουελ. Ή κάτι έχασα ή διάβασα άλλο πράγμα από τους υπόλοιπους που έχουν δώσει τόσο καλές κριτικές. Αστεράκια θα μπουν σαν το ξαναδιαβάσω γιατί δεν θα θελα από βιασύνη να μου χαλάσω την εικόνα που έχω τόσα χρόνια γι' αυτόν.

    22. For long, I knew something was wrong with the way words are used. Numerous experiences told me that very few adults( I met) were serious about what they spoke. Most conversations used words vaguely: Good, intelligent, obey, irrational, success, action, creativity etc. They were said in a very convincing emotional manner like the politician. Any disagreement was met with the argument ' we are more experienced', don't waste time etc. In higher education classes, I couldn't make connections between [...]

    23. This pamphlet-sized publication contains George Orwell’s superb 1945 essay “Politics and the English Language” and his 1941 review of Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf”. What seems at first a pedantic viewpoint of railing against bad language, grammar, and so on, like a 1940s version of Lynne Truss, becomes far more complex and thoughtful - while still being accessible to the general reader. Orwell objects to the bad use of the English language firstly as a writer himself and then move [...]

    24. An entertaining and eloquent polemic over the declining quality of people's use of English. He cuttingly and wittily takes apart the "problems" with modern English through selected examples and parodies of his own.He is especially offended by insincerity (obscured by wordy and opaque turns of speech in which all meaning is lost) and laziness in writing (in resorting to pre-fabricated phrases and worn-out metaphors that are chosen for convenience rather than aptness). He goes on to argue that the [...]

    25. The title essay here is the one piece of writing that I most want everybody in the world to read. The weasel-wording and deliberate distortions of today's politicians, news media and adverts are just as poisonous as they were in Orwell's day. While their techniques are more sophisticated than ever, the underlying tactics are still very much the same as those Orwell tears apart here. As long as people fail to arm themselves against these things, democracy can never run smoothly.I also rate 'Why I [...]

    26. In this essay, George Orwell warns us that using overly complicated language and tired phrases can obscure meaning. This is especially true in the world of politics. He provides several good examples of political language that obscure actual meaning. One particularly powerful example he provides is pacification, which actually means killing people and destroying their villages. I think this is an important essay to read in this age of "alternate facts."

    27. Orwell read my mind with this one. I have always hated political jargon for its vagueness. Orwell's idea of precise diction also applies to other fields. Diction is the only reason that we can't reach an agreement in fields like natural philosophy and economics. I don't like all of his work, but this was one of the best essays that I've ever read.

    28. Anyone who writes, reads, or cares about the meaning of words needs to read this. It's freely available online, so you have no excuses not to read it immediately.

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