Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought ā€” George Orwell

And how is that different from civil war?

Posted by metaphorical on 3 December 2006

Iraqi violence “self-sustaining”: U.S. intel chief

The level of violence in Iraq has escalated in recent months. Data from that country’s Interior Ministry showed 1,850 civilian casualties in Iraq last month, a 44 percent leap from October. The data were boosted by the deaths of 202 in last week’s multiple car bombing in the Shi’ite stronghold of Sadr City, the worst attack since the U.S. invasion.

Little has changed since Orwell wrote “Politics and the English Language.” Could we dehumanize the loss of human life any better than by cloaking it in a three-piece business suit? (You would think you were reviewing the latest housing stats, compare: Pozsar also said the contraction will hit employment. He estimated 30,000 jobs were lost in housing-related industries in November and another 300,000 will be lost in the coming year, on top of 100,000 housing jobs lost since March.)

From “Politics”:

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-purposes verb as
prove, serve, form, play, render. In addition, the passive voice is wherever possible used in preference to the active, and noun constructions are used instead of gerunds (by examination of instead of by examining).


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