I return to this phrase by George Orwell from time to time:
It is integral to the conclusion of a piece by George Orwell "Politics and the English Language," 1946 [it is well worth reading, it is only a short essay]
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. If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one's own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase -- some jackboot, Achilles' heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse -- into the dustbin, where it belongs
Apply this basic principle to everything you read, every piece of fashionable jargon that is slipped into the discourse, apply it to terminology designed to hide the reality.
What are they trying to hide in the verbal dross?
When confronted with these habits, I recommend following Orwell's advice, jeer loudly and often. I try. Simplified English does not mean that the concept is dumbed down, it just means that the lies and their intent have nowhere to hide.
My pet hates are trickle down, collateral damage, surgical strike and pretty much all of corporate speak. Say what you mean and stop hiding behind linguistic absurdities.
You can also make this into a drinking game; however it will probably kill you pretty quickly.
English can be a precise and glorious language in all its complex simplicity; mock verbal refuse at every opertunity.
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