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Orwell deals with two related issues in this piece. The first is the decline he sees in the quality of the English language. It is easy to agree with the argument he makes here. The trite metaphors he produces as examples are as common today in 2015 as they were when Orwell penned this article in the 1940’s. These overused metaphors have become a part of the writing vocabulary of a majority of English speakers. This failure of the English language is most prominent in the field of politics. It is very easy to use modern English in a vague way. This can be very useful to politicians. Euphemisms are the order of the day (it is almost impossible not to use the unoriginal phrases Orwell bemoans in this essay). Many examples of this can be found in American politics. Vagueness is especially important in the more controversial issues. Abortion is never referred to by that name. Supporters prefer to be labelled “pro-choice.” Critics are referred to as “pro-life.” Both of these labels are unassailable. Who would not want to be considered pro-choice? To stand against such a label means that the person must prefer a restriction of choice, which means a restriction of freedom which is anathema in democratic society. On the other hand, to stand opposed to the idea of being pro-life means to be de facto pro-death which is an equally unappealing option. Vagueness in speaking and in vocabulary prevents true political discourse. This vagueness pervades all manner of political discussion in the modern United States. It is fruitless to listen to many politicians speak. All use references to concepts such as freedom, democracy, and America. All lack a clearly defined image of what these concepts entail.

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His points about the importance of using euphemism in political writing are equally fascinating. He likens the use of euphemism to his earlier assertion about using Latin phrases, saying that both end up blurring one’s true message.

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Another example that Orwell hones in on are “Meaningless Words”, something that a lot of young writers struggle with. When met with word counts and page requirements it is easy to add extraneous adjectives that contribute nothing more than another word to the word count. Not only do these adjectives fail to add anything substantial to your writing but they also detract from the concise and beauty of your written words.

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Politics and the English Language Essay Questions | …

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Orwell starts out by defining the reasons why a writer writes; he analyzes the motives, whether conscious or unconscious, behind a writer. Sometimes people write for mere amusement purposes, namely sheer egotism and aesthetic enthusiasm. Sometimes it is a writer's curiosity to fathom truths and facts about history. However, most often, people write with a political purpose. Orwell believes one's writing can never be completely free of political view points and ideas. One's writing is inescapably entangled with the politics of one's era and society. Orwell says: "Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude...I am a person in whom the first three motives would outweigh the fourth" (5) This is ironic because two of Orwell's most famous works, 1984 and Animal Farm, are extremely political. This leads us to question whether Orwell intended the two novels to be political. Is there another way of interpreting the books? Another perspective?

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Politics and the English Language - Sample Essays

Understand the interactions among a writer’s purpose, audience, subject, and genre and how each of these contributes to effective writing. Enhance your own writing skills and understand better each stage of the writing process as you develop expository, analytical, and argumentative compositions.

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Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

I was a bit skeptical when first reading through Orwell’s assertions about the collapse of the English language. Even at first glance of the five passages he chose to dissect and reprimand, I could not detect major flaws other than a lack of clarity in some cases. With further thought, however, I began to see validity in his arguments.

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Politics and the English Language Answers Essay …

In what I found to be one of his most compelling arguments, Orwell later compares a writer’s lack of originality (imitating the phrases of other writers) to unconscious political conformity, making the point that political writing and bad writing are synonymous. He notes that writers who simply spit out “party lines” verbatim are incompetent. Here, I found his metaphor of the human “machine,” that makes noise but fails to use its brain, particularly interesting. Simply memorizing the writing styles or the political messages of others and regurgitating them would cause us to regress to the state of robots. Orwell thus urges us to create own original thoughts.