Archives: George Orwell

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The new politics of the English language: Part I

by Barry Bennett

The crucial tool of politics—and many other human endeavors—is language. Language is how we relate to each other, how we teach and how we learn. Language informs, it instructs, it describes. And it manipulates.

In his famous essay Politics and the English Language, George Orwell condemned the increasing abuse of English, directing particular venom at the “swindles and perversions” that governments use to obfuscate and mislead in the most serious of situations: bombarding defenseless villages in wartime and driving out the inhabitants is pacification; imprisoning people for years without trial or sending them to die in Arctic labor camps is elimination of unreliable elements.

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