The best essays in english language
George Orwell Politics and the English Language Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs the best essays in english language langjage inevitably share in the general collapse.
It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.
Now, it englsih clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks.
It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full continue reading bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble.
If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to thhe clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer.
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Meanwhile, here are five specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written. These five passages have not been picked out because they go here especially bad — I could have quoted far worse if I had chosen — but because they illustrate various of the mental vices from which we now suffer. I number them so that I can refer back to them when necessary: Above all, we cannot play ducks and drakes with a native battery of idioms which prescribes egregious collocations of vocables as the Basic put up with for tolerate, or put at a loss for bewilder.
Professor Lancelot Hogben Interglossia 3. On the one side we have the free personality: But on the other side, the social bond itself is nothing but the mutual reflection of these self-secure integrities. Recall the definition of love. Is not this the very picture of a small academic? Where is there a place in this hall of mirrors for either personality or fraternity? Essay on psychology in Politics New York 4.
If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is one thorny and contentious reform which must be tackled, and that is the humanization and galvanization of the B. Timidity here will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul. The heart of Britain may be sound and of strong beat, for instance, but the British lion's roar at present is like that of Bottom in Shakespeare's The best essays in english language Midsummer Night's Dream — as gentle as any sucking dove.
When the Voice of Britain is heard at nine o'clock, better far and infinitely less ludicrous to hear aitches honestly dropped than the present priggish, inflated, inhibited, school-ma'amish arch braying of blameless bashful mewing maidens! Letter in Tribune Each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not.
This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: I list below, with notes and examples, various of the tricks by means of which the work of prose-construction is habitually dodged. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves.
Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning without those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as essays the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: These save the trouble of picking out appropriate verbs and nouns, and at the same time pad each sentence with extra syllables which give it an appearance of symmetry.
Characteristic phrases are render inoperative, militate against, make contact with, be subjected to, give rise to, give grounds for, have the effect of, play a leading part role in, make itself felt, take effect, exhibit a tendency to, serve the purpose of, etc. The keynote is the elimination of simple verbs. Instead of being a single word, such as break, stop, spoil, mend, kill, a verb becomes a phrase, made up of a noun or adjective tacked on to some general-purpose verb such as prove, serve, form, play, render.
In addition, the passive the best essays in english language is wherever possible used in preference to the active, and noun constructions are used instead of gerunds by examination of instead of by examining. The range of verbs is further cut down by means of the -ize and de- formations, and the banal statements are given an appearance of profundity by means of the not un- formation.
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Simple conjunctions and prepositions are replaced by such phrases as with respect to, having regard to, the fact that, best essays dint of, in view of, in the interests of, on the hypothesis that; and the ends of sentences are saved by anticlimax by such resounding commonplaces as greatly to be desired, cannot be left out of account, a development to be expected in the near future, deserving of serious consideration, brought to a satisfactory conclusion, and so on and click forth.
Words like phenomenon, element, individual as nounobjective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary, promote, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate, are used to dress up a simple statement and give an air of scientific impartiality to biased judgements. Adjectives like epoch-making, epic, historic, unforgettable, triumphant, age-old, inevitable, inexorable, veritable, are used to dignify the sordid process of international politics, while writing that aims at glorifying war usually takes on an archaic colour, its characteristic words being: Foreign words and expressions such as cul de sac, ancien regime, deus ex machina, mutatis mutandis, status quo, gleichschaltung, weltanschauung, are used to give an air of culture and elegance.
Except for the useful abbreviations i. Bad writers, and especially scientific, political, and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like expedite, ameliorate, predict, extraneous, deracinated, clandestine, subaqueous, and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their Anglo-Saxon numbers 1. The jargon peculiar to Marxist writing hyena, hangman, cannibal, petty bourgeois, these gentry, lackey, flunkey, mad dog, White Guard, etc.
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- If you are trying to explain why George Washington is a great example of a strong leader, for instance, his childhood adventure with the cherry tree though interesting in another essay should probably be skipped over.
- If it [a charge] cannot be denied, some palliating supposition is suggested, or we are at least reminded that some circumstance now unknown may have justified what at present appears unjustifiable.
It is often easier here make up words of this kind deregionalize, impermissible, extramarital, non-fragmentary and so forth than to think up the English words that will cover one's meaning. The result, in general, is an increase in slovenliness and vagueness. Words like romantic, plastic, values, human, dead, sentimental, natural, vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly ever expected to do so by the reader.
If words like black and white were involved, instead of the jargon words dead the best essays in english language living, he would see at once that language was being used in an improper way.
Many political words are similarly abused. The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost the best essays in english language felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he the best essays in english language something quite different.
Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to. This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one.
Com writing services you can buy best quality custom essays, …. I roll the dice—a six and a two. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story. The purpose help with physics homework online of a narrative essay is research paper writer manila to tell a story. The Best Narrative Essay Topics: One way to think of the conclusion is, paradoxically, as a second introduction because it does in fact contain many of the same features.
I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes: I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of the best essays in english language, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. Here it is in modern English: Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.
This is a parody, but not a very gross one. The best essays in english language 3 above, for instance, contains several patches of the same kind of English. It will be seen that I have not made a full translation. The whole tendency of modern prose is away from concreteness. The first contains forty-nine words but only sixty syllables, and all its words are those of everyday life. The second contains thirty-eight words of ninety syllables: The second contains not a single fresh, arresting phrase, and in spite of its ninety syllables it gives only a shortened version of the meaning contained in the first.
Yet without a doubt it is the second kind of sentence that is gaining ground in modern English. I do not want to exaggerate.
This kind of writing is not yet universal, and outcrops of simplicity will occur here and there in the worst-written page. Still, if you or I were told to write a few lines on the uncertainty the best essays in english language human fortunes, we should probably come much nearer to my imaginary sentence than to the one from Ecclesiastes.
As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer.
It consists in gumming together long strips of words which the best essays in english language already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it click here easy. It is easier — even quicker, once you have the habit — to say In my opinion it is not an unjustifiable assumption that than to say I think.
If you use ready-made phrases, you not only don't have to hunt about for the words; you also don't have to bother with the rhythms of your sentences since these phrases are generally so arranged as to be more or less euphonious. When you are composing in a hurry — when you are dictating to a stenographer, for instance, or making a public speech — it eesays natural to fall into a pretentious, Latinized style.
Tags like a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind or a conclusion to which all of us would readily assent will save many a sentence from coming down with a bump. By using stale metaphors, similes, eszays idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself. This is the significance of mixed metaphors. The sole aim of a metaphor is to call up a visual image. When these images clash — as in The Fascist octopus has sung its swan song, the jackboot is thrown into the melting pot — it can be taken as certain that the writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is naming; in other words he is not really hhe.
Look again at go here examples I gave at the beginning of this essay.
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Professor Laski 1 the best essays in english language five negatives in fifty three words. One of these is superfluous, making nonsense of the whole passage, and in addition there is the slip — alien for akin — making further nonsense, and several avoidable pieces of clumsiness which increase the general the best essays in english language. Professor Hogben 2 plays ducks and drakes with a battery which is able to write prescriptions, and, while disapproving of the everyday phrase put up with, is bedt to look egregious up in the dictionary and see what it means; 3if one takes an uncharitable attitude towards it, is simply meaningless: In 4the writer knows more or less what he wants to say, but an accumulation of stale phrases chokes him like tea leaves blocking a sink.
In 5words and meaning have almost parted company.