A Purposeful English Language

George Orwell compiles his years of experience and validation to attempt to lecture the general public into how we should form our prose. I agree with many aspects of his claims, specifically that we should look to be as concise and direct as possible. What good is it to write for the sake of sounding genius when we can clearly explain our thoughts and reach the widest audience of understanding as possible? At the same time, his arguments against using certain words, specifically those originating outside of the classic English vocabulary, bother me. Why shouldn’t we pull from other cultures in order to link our thoughts and claims? Why can’t we utilize words such as democracy, socialism, etc. so long as we clearly define our use of these words? It seems like he’s limiting us, and doesn’t that stunt the progression of the English language? Sure, today’s conversations may not be as refined as in an earlier age, but that does not mean we cannot continue moving forward into new realms of language, rather than stay confined in his desired.

At the same time, he addresses really important concepts. By changing our culture of writing into his more direct style, we allow ourselves to better detect others who look to distort the English language through their deceptiveness or otherwise misleading language. I think Orwell prepares us to combat nefarious agendas cloaked behind seemingly literary elegance, but does so with the risk of limiting our potential.

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