Analysis Of An Essay By George Orwell Criticizing The Euphemisms Used By The U.S. Government + Other Examples Of Today's Euphemisms

985 words - 4 pages

Bad Memories for Orwell.George Orwell demonstrated how writers and politicians use euphemisms, doublespeak, and other misconceptions to mislead their audience and hide their real agenda; he exposed politicians in his times and predicted future trends and practices in the English language usage. He expected the English language to deteriorate and individual thoughts and expression to be limited. His goal was to make people understand this practice and see through public speeches and political writings in an effort to reach the underlying truth and make individuals aware of the danger. Orwell wanted public readers and listeners to realize how politicians can change an ugly thing such as killing into a harmless action. Politicians use language that is vague and lacks precision and detail in order to mislead the public. They rely heavily on euphemisms to make negative things seem positive, the unpleasant look attractive, and the bad turn into good. They use long meaningless sentences to conceal the truth and manipulate the reaction of the people to certain events or actions. Politicians shape ideas and limit thinking; they tell lies and use imprecise wording. Orwell's message connects with politics in the English language beyond his days. There are several examples of these deceptive techniques used today; things that would make George Orwell turn in his grave.Politicians accomplish this vagueness, inaccuracy, and misconception in their language by using euphemisms, doublespeaking, dying metaphors, verbal false limbs, pretentious diction, and meaningless words. A closer look at today's terminology and wording of political policies and justification of war events illustrate Orwell's message. Officials, instead of calling their new weapon a Titan II nuclear-armed, intercontinental, ballistic missile with a warhead 630 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, call it a very large potentially disruptive re-entry system. They mislead the public, and rename a neutron bomb an enhanced radiation device; to them it is not an invasion, it is a rescue mission. Civilian casualties in a bombing are renamed collateral damage; also, to kill is changed to inflicting of casualties. By making these alterations and change in labeling, officials and journalists are trying to make death and destruction seem harmless. In Vietnam, there were many war terms used to make the war seem less violent. Massive bombing from 40,000 feet in the air was called a carpet raid, killing people with an airborne machine gun (from a helicopter) was to hose them, and rabbit shooting was killing civilians and military opponents. These expressions were used to facilitate the job for the soldiers and to easily overcome moral repulsion.Political speeches and press also use euphemisms and doublethink to justify their actions regarding economy, external and internal political issues. For example, in Florida, orange growers planned to aim a satellite at Brazil's orange groves...

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