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Politics and the Decay of Language: Why I Write by George Orwell Essay example

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Popular British writer and journalist George Orwell argues in his short essay Politics and the English Language, about the prose and writing styles of the politicians and other literary individuals in his time, many of whom which relied heavily on Modern English of the time period. This type of English was dependent upon fancy terms and phrases, which were heavily used to help politicians in getting people to support their cause. He argues that the politicians and the literary figures of his time are ultimately destroying the English language, while believing they are improving it greatly. Politicians who use Modern English greatly corrupt the language as a whole by making their ideas more complex and disorganized, making their original idea unrecognizable. Orwell claims that the use of fancy words and phrases could be crippling to the foundation of the English language. With Orwell’s life experiences described in his essay Why I Write, he is able to see past the weak persuasive rhetoric used by literary figures and can strongly criticize their speech and writing styles without fear of retaliation. By using examples of other writers work and his own personal thoughts about the correct use of language, Orwell clearly argues his position of improving the flaws of the English language to make it better for all of society. His ideals can be highly understood, even in modern society where people fully believe that making their own contribution to the English language is necessary and they unknowingly begin a grammatical whirlwind that is beneficial to no one.
In his essay, Orwell argues that Modern English should be corrected extensively, stating that, “Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread b...


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...is argument is the poor use of nonsensical phrases by writers to persuade people to support their ideals, whether they are ethically just or not. Although Orwell may seem arrogant, criticizing other writers and attacking the foundation of the English language of the 20th century, his reasons for doing so are justified. He is able to support this argument of preventing the English language from further decay by advocating the use of logical grammar, using everyday words instead of fancy phrases to make a work more literal and prevent the clouding of personal ideas when they are viewed by others for criticism. With the preservation of the integrity of the English language, one should be sure to validate that their literary methods are valid and can be supported by their text.



Works Cited
Orwell, George. Why I Write. New York, New York: Penguin Books Ltd., 2004.



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