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Analysis of Orwell's "Politics and The English Language

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The content in Orwell’s thesis states that political language is watering down our very own English language, and when this occurs language withdraws the depth and quality of your personal thoughts. This causes a significant downturn in overall communication abilities as well as intelligence.

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In his essay, Orwell catalogues a few of the more prominent vices.

Dying Metaphors: A metaphor is hackneyed and has numerous definitions defining it. It is generally used when the author takes the left behind knowledge and comprehension of the metaphor, alternatively thinking of their own metaphor. Frequently, they can also be a production from the past, and can be incorporated in an unsuitable manner.

Operators or false Limbs: There are phrases that take the place of the “proper” nouns and or verbs, that which are described as having egalitarianism to the best selected words.

Pretentious Diction: Countless words that are utilized to input emphasis to an opinion and or bias, by toning it sound unaffiliated, unbiased, and completely analytical.

Meaningless words are normally generalized words that contain limited and restricted value, respecting the theme being discussed.

What are the six basic questions that a scrupulous writer must ask him or herself?

What am I trying to say?

What words will express it?

Could I word it more shortly?

What image will make it clearer?

Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

Have I said anything that is avoidably strange?

Orwell is particularly concerned with the power of language when it comes to political writing. Find a quotation that you think best explains this concern.

“I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and others have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism. Since you don’t know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism? One need not swallow such absurdities as this, but one ought to recognize that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.”

There are the six basic rules that Orwell thinks will prevent bad writing:

  1. Don’t use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which are common through writing.
  2. Don’t use long words where you can utilize short ones instead.
  3. If cutting out a word is possible, then make sure to do so.
  4. Always use the active voice when you can rather than passive.
  5. Stay away from using a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

To my mind, the rules that are the most important would be number 3 and 6. By not following rule 3, it will end up in the reader getting farther away from the points being portrayed. As well as rule 6 is a very strong rule since saying barbarous things will not just discredit the writer and their point but also delegitimize it.

Orwell discusses language, not in terms of literature, but in terms of politics. In a well-developed paragraph, explain your opinion on the issue of language and power.

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I presume that the origin of language is the oil to the motor to politics. The quality of a language can resolute the success and potency of that particular motor. Now in modern politics, everyone is anticipated to keep the language formally “sterile” and as well as “professional,” which can certainly avoid casual biases, but also can be effective. Additionally, to serve an emotional sympathy effect that can produce one to empathize with also getting the message painted. An example is, if an individual states “Malaria is a rampant disease in Africa that could potentially be treated by vaccination,” this can be contemplated to be the “political jargon”. This can also be effective when someone is trying to portray the fundamental facts of what is being dictated. While this is effectual in depicting the foundation of the message, if one was to really try hard, one would get a room full of people to empathize with would really clench the reality. As well as inputting an emotionally charged language to this very phrase can be also effectual into getting the message across. It is more constructive to say “Malaria is a disease that has people in Africa living in fear and sickness, which can be a heavy burden in areas already impacted by poverty, poor healthcare and poor nutrition.” Utilizing politically precise language is significant when the audience is not expected to emphasize with given information. Therefore, it is not always useful to oscillate the listener into an idea of empathy or the comprehension with the given context.

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Analysis of Orwell’s “Politics and The English Language. (2019, March 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 6, 2023, from
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