Saturday, February 20, 2010

George Orwell contra Christianist Authortarianism

John Avlon at the Daily Beast offers an analysis of the unlikely rise of the most appallingly loathsome mountebank since Jerry Falwell. This country needs to get serious. George Orwell correctly asserts in his great essay, "Politics and the English Language", that the level of a nation's political discourse is reflected in the level and manner of the language through which it is communicated. Considering the ranting and charlatanry that pass for analysis and political commentary on our regrettable cable news outlets, we should all be greatly concerned. We may be doomed to obscurity, or, worse yet, infamy.

Orwell lists six rules for avoiding disingenuous writing and communication:

(i) Never use a metaphor or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

(ii) Never use a long word where a short one will do.

(iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

(iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.

(v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you
can think of an everyday English equivalent.

(vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.

No comments:

Post a Comment