The Ambiguity of the English Language

Good Essays
The Ambiguity of the English Language The English language has many words which lack clear definitions, and

as a result of their ambiguity, lack true meaning. Consequently, when

using such vague words, the possibilities are limitless, for their

versatility accommodates to one’s liking. Thus, as George Orwell

explains in “Politics and the English language”, meaningless words are

appealing, especially to politicians, because they help to hide true

intentions and to rationalize actions. President George W. Bush of

the United States of America demonstrates this problem, (of one who

uses meaningless words in order to mislead his audience. When the

“President outlines) when declaring his “steps to help Iraq achieve

democracy and freedom” with words such as “freedom, security,

democracy, and terror” to describe the situation in Iraq. By using

the words without specifying their meaning, he fails to specify his

role in Iraq. Also, by contrasting abstract words, particularily

“democracy” and “terror”, President Bush trivializes the issue

surrounding his occupation of Iraq. The President’s success in hiding

his real ‘agenda’ and in rationalizing his presence in Iraq indicates

the power of language and its potential as a tool for manipulation.

“Our agenda is freedom and independence, security and prosperity for

the Iraqi people” (Bush). Upon further examination of this statement,

what initially sounds promising and clear seems vague. In what

context does President B...

... middle of paper ...

... theyre THAT weak, thinking of OPEC and stuff).

He is fighting in the name of good.

Through George Bush, Orwell’s position on the ambiguity of the English

language and its role in politics is shown to have serious

implications. Particularily shown by the record number to reelect

Bush, many accept the trivialized version of issues surrounding Iraq

and fail to understand the complexity of the situation. As a result

they are pacified and rendered powerless. Orwell draws an insightful

correlation between something as seemingly harmless as general terms

and the very stability of this world. The ability of words to

influence the state of world affairs and millions of lives exemplifies

the importance of communication between people and the need to strive

for blunt, unambiguous terms that help uncover and convey the truth.
Get Access