It seems like Orwell may be good for more than just 1984. In a piece called “Politics and the English Language,” he encourages simplicity. Modern writing (and speeches) tends to be gushing and without meaning, like a sink with high water pressure made up primarily of bubbles. Politics has the worst language habits, full of pretension and tired phrases. (I invite Orwell to spend a day at UofC for some pretentious language!) He argues that the poor state of things is partly to blame on the language we use. If we improve our language, gradually, everything else will catch up.

As one who is basically obsessed with words, I find his mentality encouraging. More than encouraging, I find it my own personal mission. Speaking and writing clearly is a passion of mine. Others find it irritating (or commendable, depending), but to say something in exactly the right way is as pleasurable as eating the last red/blue sour gummy worm. Proper language is literally delicious to me.

Clear language also transcends mixed audiences. While it is occasionally appropriate to use wording that will work for a certain interest group, you can communicate to more people with clear, concise language. There is no need to shroud meaning in a veil, covering up its ugly or, gasp! inexistent truth. Just say what it is you intend, and all those reading or hearing your words will understand you.

*The post above is one I had to write for an assignment for my Writing Persuasion class. It seemed relevant, so enjoy!