Politics and the English Language: What Orwell Meant Pt2

As stated in the essay, politics tend to bend the actual intentions of the speaker, i.e. using political speech to convey messages more often than not confuses the reader or the listener and leads to digressive remarks and actions. Euphemisms are quite popular in political speeches and debates (both written and spoken). As Orwell says, “[Thus] political language has to consist largely of euphemisms, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.”

Even though euphemisms may seem essential to generate assent within the public and justify the actions that may otherwise seem inhumane and decadent, they wrongly inform the public of the actual intentions of the speaker.

An opponent may say that the use of such words makes an orator, like Mark Antony way from Julius Caesar; but Orwell would firmly disagree. An orator would be a person who can shape the opinions of the public by using simple diction, not someone who depends on ambiguity to gain support.

Orwell dismisses the notion that language grows naturally, and instead says that the growth of language depends largely on its use by the common people. He believes that the decadence that is created by modern English can be eliminated by a few concerned individuals who incorporate his above-mentioned rules in their daily lives.

Orwell appears to be an anarchist of political English; reproaching abstract speeches and the influence of politics in our daily lives. Politics, according to Orwell, has successfully permeated all of our social walls, including our tongues and pens. These nuances have to be changed through personal effort.

Perversion of the English language can be stopped by embracing its Saxon roots and speaking and writing with an everyday ease.

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