Sunday, February 5, 2017

Reflection on "Politics and the English Language

This week in class we read and discussed George Orwell's piece "Politics and the English Language." In this article Orwell goes into detail about how the English language is deteriorating due to several "bad habits" that writers have writers have picked up. Orwell believes that eliminating these habits will allow writers to think more clearly and lead towards political regeneration. Bad habits he mentioned include dying metaphors, operators or verbal false limbs, pretentious diction, and meaningless words. In the activities that followed the reading, my partner and I discovered that very common in modern English. We found numerous examples in political speeches, historical documents and even scientific findings. A lot of the diction was, as Orwell claimed, lead to an "increase in slovenliness and vagueness." This writing piece was very similar to the books On Writing Well and The Elements of Style. Like Orwell, the authors of these books encouraged precise writing with no clutter. Zinsser especially preached for the elimination of clutter and thought that it could lead to more clear and coherent writing.