3 Ateb i “Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language”, 63 years on”

  1. Orwell is far from the only man to have noticed the language-thought link… out of curiosity, I had a dig through some quotation pages, and here are a few relevant ones:

    “Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.”
    – Benjamin Lee Whorf

    “Change your language and you change your thoughts.”
    – Karl Albrecht

    “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”
    – Ludwig Wittgenstein

    … Finally, here’s one that I read a few days ago, that got pulled to the surface upon reading this post (it is, naturally, Orwell himself)

    “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.”

  2. Yeah, Orwell. I know – so far, so original. It’s become pretty commonplace to point out that Orwell forecasted, warned about and identified nearly all this stuff. Don’t take my word for it though, the English Language essay is well worth a read. You’ll find that cuttlefish quote and a lot more besides(!)

    Just be grateful I didn’t shoehorn in a manifesto advocating bilingualism. Maybe next time.

    I like the fact you’ve trimmed the mighty Wittgenstein down to a pithy quote. Feel the limits Ludwig.

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