A politician formulates his ideas with the intention of confusing or deceiving his audience. In the essay, “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell describes the ways in which politicians mold the English language to their advantage. Political language is designed to cover up falsehoods and supply splendid fabrications. However, different types of politicians use different kinds of Orwellian language devices. The purpose of this research is to determine whether experienced politicians or inexperienced politicians use Orwell’s political language devices more frequently.
This work will focus on comparing how office-holding politicians use language devices to avoid giving direct information versus candidates seeking office. Members of both parties will be analyzed, and the results will be compared based on the prevalence and frequency of the following four devices: glittering generalities, euphemisms, dying metaphors, and pretentious diction. The work of research was divided between the writing partners by presidential party. Nils researched Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and office holder Paul Ryan while Bryant researched Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and office holder President Barack Obama. To maintain consistency, similar issues for each party will be focused on. For Obama, his statement on the attacks on Paris was analyzed. For Sanders, his segments during the second Democratic debate that focused on the France attacks and terrorism were analyzed through the debate’s entire transcript. For Ryan, his website’s article on immigration was analyzed. For Trump, the transcript of the four...
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...xperience. All four politicians employed these devices between 5.5% – 6% of their total words. However this data could not fully account for the usage of euphemisms, as there was insubstantial data to qualify the prevalence of euphemisms. In addition, it should be noted that there are several limitations to this research. There was a narrow sample size of politicians, works, and devices analyzed, so in order to improve on this research one might consider increasing the sample sizes to account for error. Moreover, it is evident that politicians purposefully employ these political language devices to cloud their audience’s minds. Ethical or not, this intentional deception of the public’s mind is a common technique used by many, if not all politicians, in similar ways and similar frequency, in order to achieve one, common goal: to win the vote of the people.
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- George Orwell’s essay, Politics and the English Language, first published in 1946, talks about some “bad habits”, which have driven the English language in the wrong direction, that is, away from communicating ideas. In his essay he quotes five passages, each from a different author, which embody the faults he is talking about. He lists dying metaphors, operators, pretentious diction, and meaningless words as things to look out for in your own writing and the writing of others (593-595). He talks about political uses of the English language.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Orwell]
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The Need for Simplification of the English Language as Explained in Politics And The English Language” by George Orwell
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