Orwell’s Predictions

Orwell noticed that people started to violate the English language too much. In 1946 he already listed several main violations that people make. Today nothing has changed and people continue violating language, trying to make it more fashionable. And this is happening everywhere and constantly.

For example, I only looked into The New York Times issued on May, 18, 2010 and I found the article which can illustrate Orwell’s statement. The article was written by Michael Kimmelman, and it deals with the new fashion to collect art items connected with the times of the II World War, Nazi and Hitler. This article is full of foreign phrases and long words. For example, Kimmelman uses such words and phrases as: “megomaniacally”, “underappreciation”, “jolting us from our historical amnesia”, “a mesmerizing and mysterious stash”, “virtual museum-in-waiting”, “nightly soliloquies”, “one man’s private memento”.

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To my mind, the author uses such words and phrases to draw attention to his article. He tries to be fashionable and to show that he knows some smart words as “amnesia”. Some of these words don’t even exist, for example, “megomaniacally”, “underappreciation”. The author invents new words, which as he thinks, are beautiful and smart. I think Kimmelman uses such words as “soliloquies”, “memento” and “amnesia” to seem an educated person. All these words violate Orwell’s’ statements about language. Kimmelman tries to complicate his article, to use as many “smart” words as possible.

The whole article is quite difficult to read. There are so many long, foreign difficult and new words. Sometimes you even loose the content of the article. All these words “hide” the meaning of the article. I even think that the author had some words in a sheet of paper and his task was to use all those words in the article. I mean, that really the author could reveal the same idea and the same sentence using few simple words. And, I believe, it would be better.

This article illustrates the main points of Orwell’s essay. For example, instead of using simple short words the author chooses long and smart words and phrases. The author doesn’t follow one of the Orwell’s points, which says “if it’s possible to contract words and sentences do it”. And, of course, this article illustrates vividly Orwell’s statement about the meaningless writings, since here the author uses words for attraction and ornamenting one’s writing rather than revealing some meaning.

However, Kimmelman doesn’t violate another Orwell’s rule which doesn’t recommend using “dying” metaphors. The author doesn’t use any of such metaphors; though, sometimes he uses set phrases, instead of single words. Thus, the major default of this article, in accordance with Orwell, is the use of foreign, smart or non-existing words and phrases.

This small article shows that today people try to violate the language as well. Scientists, writers, poets, politicians and journalists try to create new metaphors, even new words.

But they only litter their own language. For example, Kimmelman could tell the same story in more simple words. But he didn’t do it. I think he tries to invent something new in his article, because he thinks it can attract people, it can make people read the article, buy the newspaper.

Orwell was right saying that “thoughts corrupted language” and “language corrupted thoughts”. This process is continuing now. Such authors, like Kimmelman are more concerned about the form, rather than content. And very soon there will be no content in their minds, there will be only numerous smart words and phrases.


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