Politics and language is an essay written by George Orwell in 1946. The essay criticizes the English language. Orwell has examined different things in his essay such as the dying metaphors and pretentious diction. A new invented metaphor plays an important role as it helps thought by inducing a visual image. On the other hand, a dead metaphor has become an ordinary word and be utilized without losing vividness. However, there are other metaphors used because they save individuals from inventing phrases they can use. For instance, ring the changes on and on the order of the day. People use most of the metaphors without knowing their meaning. People use incompatible metaphors and do not understand their meaning.
In pretentious diction, people use words such as element, individual, objective and categorical to dress up simple statements and air biased judgments. Dead metaphors and misuse of language affects political systems as people do not communicate the message clearly. The words people use when describing political system like democracy, freedom have different meaning to the person using them and hearer. The political speeches are the defense of those who cannot defend themselves. The arguments used by political leaders are not in line with their political parties aims. Dead metaphor and misuse of language affect representative democracy as people have different definition of democracy. Political speech has euphemisms and convoluted phrasing (Orwell, 1946).
Orwell writes an argument with a plea. He criticizes the English prose for its inaccurate and horrible use of language. He encourages writers to change the inaccuracy of English prose and political writing. Writers should avoid using imagery and meaning of words. They should allow the meaning to select the word, but not vice versa (Orwell, 1946).
Language makes a writer’s argument and illustrates his points. Language reflects the message being conveyed. Orwell makes the same mistake he is warning writers about. He makes the same mistake translating the verse from Ecclesiastes. There is a connection between Swift and Orwell as they both encourage use of accurate English language (Orwell, 1946).
Orwell, G. (1946). Politics and the English language.