Politics and the english language orwell thesis

Contrary to some interpretations of what Jacques Derrida says about literary texts, 16 there is always an hors-texte to understand a historical text, a context which gives it meaning. Foreign words and expressions such as cul de sac , ancien regime , deus ex machina , mutatis mutandis , status quo , gleichschaltung , weltanschauung , are used to give an air of culture and elegance.

Except for the useful abbreviations i. Bad writers, and especially scientific, political, and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like expedite , ameliorate , predict , extraneous , deracinated , clandestine , subaqueous , and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their Anglo-Saxon numbers.

The jargon peculiar to Marxist writing hyena , hangman , cannibal , petty bourgeois , these gentry , lackey , flunkey , mad dog , White Guard , etc. The result, in general, is an increase in slovenliness and vagueness. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Apparently his position is diametrically opposed to that of Adorno or Glissant who defend foreign words or the creolization of languages. For Adorno, a victim of Nazism who had to flee to the US, rehabilitating foreign words was accomplished as de-Nazification of the language and the minds of Germans.

Does it go with his liking for English pubs, lukewarm English beer and his defence of patriotism? Certainly a reading of this sort could be made but would amount to sidestepping the key point made by Orwell in this text.

Orwell did not always respect his own recommendations as he indicates at the end of this piece. It is the patriotism of the deracinated. Yet even this easy classification falls short in many cases. They restrict intellectual horizons and close minds off, whereas opening up to others, other cultures, and other languages is a marker of intellectual sophistication and competence in thinking for ideas have no borders.

What Orwell is deriding or lamenting is the use of foreign words, or the intention of the writer using them in specific instances. The use of Greek words, or Greek roots, may be used by scientists or fake scientists trying to sell snake oil. The use of Latin may be a sign of erudition or a cover-up for fraud.

It is easy to detect fraud when fake doctors resort to Greek or Latin and the use of French, German or Russian in English may have the same function.

Orwell targets inauthenticity — or quite simply lies — in the public debate. This is also a point made by Michel Onfray, speaking from a progressive point of view in his talk on Erich Fromm whom he contrasts with Lacan precisely on account of their different attitudes towards neologisms and foreign words used for obfuscation. In the intellectual world a profusion of foreign phrases may be a mask for the banality of a piece of work. If foreign words are a PR exercise or an attempt to hoodwink supposedly uneducated ordinary people, then their meaning has nothing to do with what Adorno or Glissant say in celebration of the dialogue of languages or cultures.

On the contrary they are there to deceive, not enrich or educate. Chomsky who is, of course, a well-known professional linguist, uses Orwell for his political and sociological insights which come from paying close attention to the use of language. He has largely won this debate for today everyone is aware of Orwellian doublespeak, doublethink and the tricks of langue de bois. Clearly Orwell targets any group or ideology which resorts to pretentious or obfuscating language, with or without foreign words.

For Machiavelli the Prince had to resort to the ruse of the fox and the force of the lion. Orwell suggested a specific attention to the way language was used which is largely relevant today. At times there are local translations, but practitioners prefer either the English mainly American term or its anglicized version in their vernacular French uses downloader as a verb. Most of the time it has nothing to do with technological necessity, it just reflects a power relationship and the American domination of this economic, technological and therefore semantic area.

The lingua franca of business is English and this translates into the importation of American English terms in management, economics or even political science for example flowchart or agenda in French when it merely means ordre du jour ; gouvernance is an Anglicism governance which obfuscates rather than clarifies. Foreign words are then a symptom of a larger pattern of domination with historical roots. In advertising, the use of English words or words derived from English is common and projects an image of modernity, of hipness or of cool, all originating in the US.

British slang is itself being Americanized and people complain about Americanisms in the media for they reflect a power relationship in which Britain is dominated. Their presence in a text must be analyzed in a specific context. Political classification which leads to intellectual evaluation is totally rejected in literary studies. In the case of political writers, works tend to be evaluated on the basis of their ideological preferences.

Thesis For George Orwell Politics And The English Language – 675867

This approach seems more justified than in literature yet negates the complexity of writers. Orwell was rejected by Communists of his time or later hailed by neoconservatives in the US on the basis of a hasty generalization. He could never have been a politician and he spoke in defence of common decency. Chomsky even theorized this difference: he said and wrote on many occasions that to be interested in the affairs of this world there is no need for a special vocabulary, that 15 year-olds are competent enough to understand politics if they read a little.

Writing in a simple unsophisticated style is perceived as a sign of incompetence. Literary criteria are applied to social sciences as if beauty meant scientific validity. An interesting erudite style may even be a mask for either scientific mumbo jumbo or vacuity.

When Alan Sokal published his hoax about physics in a famous cultural studies journal, Social Text , no one on the board realized it was a hoax. Approved abstruse language was enough to satisfy the editors of the journal. In other words fashionable theory masked scientific vacuity. This is what distinguishes them from Foucault who argued that truth depended on regimes of power and that therefore truth was a power relation. For post-modernism, Rosat argued, there is no truth any longer. If, following Nietzsche, there are no facts but only interpretations, then there is only a difference of interpretation between exploiter and exploited.

Postmodernism deprives the downtrodden of the liberating power of truth.

Analysis of Orwell's "Politics and The English Language: [Essay Example], words GradesFixer

They believe that some bridges can be built when you know the laws of physics and that the chemical effects of drugs can be known, that sanitation is the result of the study of objective reality. It is only in social science and the humanities that power replaces truth. Often power relationships determine who is appointed, published, considered a star.

Yet giving up the concept of an objective reality which can be studied means that, for instance, in sociology there is no way to determine whether social Darwinism is superior to Durkheim or the urban sociology that focuses on socio-economic and political factors to explain, for instance, the persistent marginalization of African-Americans.

Russell and Orwell — even with his simple, easy style — got the point of Soviet totalitarianism before the experts. When Derrida makes political points he often relies on the work of others, notably Chomsky the rationalist whom he mines for facts.

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Starting from words for some money! Don't wait much time, get a perfect essay now! Great information about writing! They are a great resource for personal, educational or business writing needs. The website is DigitalEssay. Does he actually state it, or is it implied? It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.

This comment is effective because it directly compares the effects of alcohol to our untidy use of the English language.

George Orwell’s: Politics and the English Language- Thesis and Analysis

In each of the following paragraphs — paragraphs 4, 5, 12, 15, and 16 — Orwell uses at least one metaphor or simile. Identify each figure of speech. Then explain how it works and whether you find it rhetorically effective. Orwell develops his ideas through extensive use of examples. Try rewriting paragraph 5, 6, 7, or 8 without examples. How does the effect of the paragraph change? To remove any examples from the text would leave the paragraphs blank because they are entirely made up of examples.

Orwell uses these examples to support his arguments and by removing them, it would leave his arguments too vague and we would not be able to comprehend his main point. Why do you think Orwell chose to put the information in footnotes rather than in the main text? His footnote is used as his citation of where he found his evidence. He chose to place it at the end because putting in his text would most likely distract the reader and he would not to be able to portray his main argument clearly. Orwell wrote this essay before he was well known for his novels.