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Politics and the English Language by George…

Politics and the English Language (1947)

by George Orwell

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I wish I had read this before I wrote my dissertation. ( )
  bo18 | Jan 18, 2016 |
As an editor and writer, Orwell makes me feel inadequate. The rot in language, he argues, is not neologism, Americanism or anything else about which people write letters to the Telegraph. It is a reliance on shorthand where thought is needed. The man's just scribbled "lacks application" at the bottom of everything I've written. ( )
  m_k_m | Mar 4, 2013 |
George Orwell has always been something of a hero of mine: how many writers can be claimed by both left and right of the political spectrum? Orwell has always ploughed his own furrow (a phrase of which, he would disapprove!) and that makes for an interesting author.

If you, like me, procure this book(let) from an internet supplier, you may be a trifle disappointed when 24 pages in a flimsy paper cover drops through your letterbox. Literature, however, is unlike spuds: one doesn't measure its effectiveness by the weight or girth of a book. The two articles in this book presumably started life as newspaper columns and are concentrated Orwell. In the first, he laments the destruction of the English language by politicians who, he claims, do not speak in words, but in conjoined collections of words - the sound-bite was clearly alive and well long before Tony Blair. Orwell makes a sound case for the unclear use of language to be inextricably linked to fuzzy thinking.

In the second, even briefer item, Orwell reviews a new version of Mein Kampf. Sadly, these articles are not dated, but one presumes that this was written around the middle to late 1930's, when English Conservatives were coming to realise that Hitler was a little too extreme even for their anti Socialist tastes. It adds an interesting, contemporary perspective upon Britain's attitude to Hitler.

A thought provoking little book - and one well worth its place upon any bookshelf. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Mar 1, 2013 |
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