Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

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Choose one point from Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language” with which you agree and one point with which you disagree. Include reasons for your arguments.

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Scott David eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think Orwell is at his most insightful and profound when he discusses the manipulation of language by politics and the very real implications of this problem. As he argues, language itself serves as a tool for the manipulation of public opinion. The specific words people use in describing a political option will often impact how people perceive that political option. Particularly striking and vivid is his discussion of euphemisms and the ways in which politicians can employ the strategic choice of words to deaden traumatic and deeply unpleasant political realities for public consumption. I'm confident Orwell's same insight holds true for modern political speech in the present, just as it did in Orwell's own time.

As far as his thesis about the deterioration of the English language is concerned, on this point I think he is on shakier ground. For one thing, even if you accepted Orwell's criticisms of his contemporaries as valid, it is worth remembering that, speaking historically, most...

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