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View Diary: Humpty Dumpty in a bad mood (6 comments)

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  •  We cannot criticize Orwell (1+ / 0-)
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    At the same time, Orwell's essay is of a particular time, and he had two dragons to slay. The one that I brought him up for is the loss of meaning in political terms (ask college students to define "capitalism"), but the main business he pursued in the essay was "officialese."

    I don't think he thought that King James's English is inviolate. Rather, he thought that the language after being refined through grammarians was impossible to improve. The English he championed was Eton's, and not stinky Jimmy's, which means that it had rules that came from artificial logic.

    However, most of "Politics and the English Language" is about the use of indistinct language to obscure meaning, the proliferation of prepositions, inversions of verb position, and the nasty habit of portmanteaus generated for political reasons, rather than absence of terms. He does have livelier essays.

    Everyone's innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 06:59:27 PM PDT

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