ENGLISH 1022E October 14 , 2010
ENGLISH – Lecture 10
“Through the strategic prioritization of client-focused efficiencies, the corporation is committed to
meeting the challenge of delivering maximum choice with continuous flexibility with a synergistic system
that encourages thinking outside the box…blah, blah, blah.” – Everywhere in our lives, every day,
bureaucratic talk, pamphlets, writing we are subjected to every day.
Animal Farm (1945) - satire on revolutions, published right after WWII.
1984 (1949) – ERIC BLAIR
Politics of the English Language…
o Abuse of power, manipulation of language
o Published in 1946, between Animal Farm and 1984.
o Twice the phrase “in our time” is used
o ALLUSION: evocation or echo of another text. Add resonance, depth, to the present text.
Increase the feeling of something important happening.
o Given the manipulation of language in Orwell’s day, we can see why he believed language was
infected, diseased, and needed to be cured.
o Personal is political. All issues are political issues.
o Double-think: to believe something and also believe the complete opposite. To know that
something is a lie, but to believe it anyway.
o Language: carry the memories of the past; it registers historical events that have passed.
o Public document—trying to sway us into the same opinion it poses. Remedy the issue of
language, trying to move us to make some kind of action.
o Most essays are a mix of magisterial and colloquial. We can learn from this, what to do and
what not to do. Orwell’s essay is a mix.
o MAGISTERIAL: teaching style. Lecturing style. Text that speaks at the reader, laid out like
textbook, using same methods as teachers, etc. laid out with numbers, roughly same length,
o Orwell suggests you pick your words, only the best. Emphasis on choice.
o “Mental vices” – hints that his is a serious problem, attached to the deteriorating
language. ENGLISH 1022E October 14 , 2010
o Numbered lists, sparingly uses footnotes, the latter indicating formal writing. He also
uses subheadings, in italics, so you always know what he’s talking about every stage of
o Heavy use of process statements: