Wordsmith.Org


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


Jul 19, 1999
This week's theme
Eponyms

This week's words
orwellian
berserk
macadam
mansard
stakhanovite
euhemerism
argonaut

Make a gift that
keeps on giving,
all year long:
A gift subscription of AWAD or give the gift of books
Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

orwellian

Pronunciation RealAudio

orwellian (or-WEL-ee-uhn) adjective

Of, relating to, or evocative of the works of George Orwell, especially the satirical novel 1984, which depicts a futuristic totalitarian state.

"Military satellites designed to guide nuclear missiles are being used to monitor prison parolees and probationers in a technological advance designed to reduce the nation's skyrocketing prison population. But critics say it also raises the specter of an Orwellian future."
Gary Fields; Satellite 'Big Brother' eyes parolees Technology is same as that used to guide nuclear missiles; USA Today; Apr 8, 1999.

Today's AWAD word would perhaps have been Blairian had English author George Orwell (1903-1950) chosen to write as Eric Arthur Blair, his given name, instead of using a pen name. No matter, it would still be an eponym a word derived from a person's name. Although Orwell is best known for his satires "Animal Farm" and "1984", he wrote many compelling essays and articles. In one of his essays, 'Politics and the English Language', he translates this verse from Ecclesiastes to show how language can be, and often is, used not only to illuminate but also to obscure:

"I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
And here is how it might appear in contemporary English:
"Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account."
Now how would you want that memo, report, proposal, thesis, letter or email of yours to read?

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. -Carl W. Buechner

Sign-up:
Subscribe
Gift Subscription
Address Change
Unsubscribe

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith