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You know me, don't you? wink

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For those of y'all not inclined to read the Swift missive, it is essentially a prescriptivist tirade against the devolution of the language. It has forty some odd instances of which being used in a context where modern prescriptivists would demand that be used.

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One of my most favourite essays on language and writing was by Orwell, where he complains about academics using big words for the sake of sounding impressive and how you should use small words and always be concise - something I was always told not to be throughout school, as one teacher put it "if you know a longer, larger, bigger word (and one that the examiner may not even know) use it, and they will probably give you more marks for supposedly being intelligent"...I'll try and find a link to it somewhere


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ahahaa I have found it, and upon reading it again, my love for Orwell has grown once more laugh Orwell Essay


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he complains about academics using big words for the sake of sounding impressive and how you should use small words and always be concise

One should use words appropriate for one's audience and to the context of what one is writing.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
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of course! wink I do love the first example he uses, makes me smile every time


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I am in total concurence with this viewpoint, zm, and it is my personal intention to, at all times, eliminate all sesquipedalian polysyllabism from my utterances, whether delivered by inscription or by oral means. And I wouldn't dream of starting sentences with conjunctions or using prepositions to end with.


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Originally Posted By: bexter
ahahaa I have found it, and upon reading it again, my love for Orwell has grown once more laugh Orwell Essay


My problem with this essay is unsupported assertion that English is in decline. Orwell gives no evidence that the words and phrases he doesn't like are more common now than they need to be, or more common now than they were in the past. And he makes an unsupported assumption that one's language is a direct link to one's thought, and vice versa.

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Agree, it's not in decline. Times are different from Orwell's time. We only have a tiny stroke of babylonism. Internet, advertising, intensive migration all over the globe. It affects all current languages.

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Goofy, it was written way back in the forties when all the annoying phrases seemed (to him at least) to be "rearing their ugly heads"...his essay style is true to proper form, being more an intelligent conversation put down in words and in such a way as to make his point most profoundly. Orwell is a great master of essays and the comic and ironic streak can be seen in all of his essays. He is mainly annoyed with the people who destroy the meaning of what they say by not being imaginative and creating their own metaphors and thus bogging down their writing into a practically unintelligible babble of polysyllabic sesquipedilian foreign inanities. (Apologies for the typos etc and the length. Am typing this from my phone and you kind of lose track of length and spelling...!) wink


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