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How are politicians using the tactics that Orwell outlines in his essay to manipulate...

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litstudent59 | eNoter

Posted December 1, 2011 at 10:40 PM via web

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How are politicians using the tactics that Orwell outlines in his essay to manipulate voters? What are the problems with using language this way?

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 1, 2011 at 10:46 PM (Answer #1)

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Orwell points out that most political language is employed to defend things for which there is no real defense.  Some of the tactics that were employed in Orwell's time and still employed today include using pretentious diction, circular arguments, intentional vaguery and a host of others that allow politicians to speak or to answer questions without giving any real substance or meaning to what they say.

One specific example might be the way politicians talked about the war in Iraq or Afghanistan and used phrases like "pacification" or "building a peaceful democratic society" to describe warlike and deadly actions taken by armed forces.  Because they cannot call a spade a spade, they have to make it sound better by using obfuscatory language.

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