by George Orwell
Read this essay here.
I read George Orwell's 1946 essay "Politics and the English Language" because it was quoted in Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves To Death, and I wanted to know what else it had to say. In the essay, Orwell makes the argument that much of what passes for learned writing and speaking looks or sounds impressive at first, but when closely examined it is found to be little more than fancy words and worn phrases that ultimately express little or no meaning. Simplicity in conveying thoughts or ideas helps us to uncover poorly constructed logic, deception and outright lies.
I'll be using tips and tricks I learned in this essay next time I'm reading one of those "scholarly" writings I'm having difficulty understanding. Maybe they will help me to figure out if I really don't get it or if the flowery writing is masking a lack of coherent argument. And knowing I've used plenty of the very words and phrases Orwell ridicules, I'll be on the lookout for them in my own future compositions.
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!