Comments on

Politics and the English Language

Original entry posted: Mon Oct 1 18:51:55 2007

Troy Goodfellow @ Mon Oct 1 13:26:13 2007 EST

I love that essay, probably one of the few pieces on writing that I re-read on a regular basis.

Thomas @ Mon Oct 1 13:30:38 2007 EST

It's a shame that I only read it recently, and it floored me when I did.

I keep a copy of these guidelines taped above my desk at work.

Troy Goodfellow @ Tue Oct 2 19:31:04 2007 EST

I was introduced to it in high school, but didn't make it my codex until grad school. Points 2 and 3 on the list are gospel as far as I'm concerned and my graduate advisor pounded 4 into me until I cringed at every exposure to the passive voice.

It's a great essay beyond these rules, though. The bulk of the essay on how extremist politics corrupts language through euphemism is more effective, in many ways, than the same point in 1984.

Thomas @ Wed Oct 3 09:45:15 2007 EST

Sure, since 1984 is not a subtle work.

But then, we don't live in a subtle time anymore (Clear Skies Act, anyone?)

Troy Goodfellow @ Wed Oct 3 09:51:42 2007 EST

I was thinking "rendition" myself. And "intelligent design". And "No Child Left Behind."

Orwell was writing about the Soviets and somehow pegged Dubya.

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