Friday, September 28, 2007

Use Your Allusion #5: Newspeak

If you haven't read George Orwell's 1984, it's a fascinating book. Of course, it didn't happen exactly as he predicted it would, writing in 1949.

It is a story about ultimate government control of everything in a person's life. One of the ways that government maintained control was by getting people to use "newspeak". This was a reduced, simplified version of English designed to simplify and ultimately cripple people's minds.

Instead of saying something is "good", "great", or "fantastic", you would have only the adjective "good". Something could be "good" or "doubleplusgood".

So when you refer to something as "newspeak", you're saying that someone is feeding you bad, oversimplified information with bad pretenses.

On a personal note, I often lament how dumbed down our language is actually becoming. I'm convinced hip hop music must have something to do with it, but pop culture at large is certainly a culprit.

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