Comparing Orwell's Argument And Our Language

1427 Words6 Pages
There are some who would argue that "Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse" (Orwell 529). Some would refute this saying that our language is not dying but evolving and to a certain degree they are right. The English language has evolved over centuries of time even splitting into multiple dialects such as British, Australian, and American. Each has their own terms, phrases, and even words that the others do not use. These people who seek to destroy Orwell's essay would say that this evolution is natural and that nothing should be done to stop it. What Orwell is saying in his essay though is that "Modern English, especially written English is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble" (529). So therefore those who want to trump Orwell's argument miss this one key element that makes his easily defendable and that is that what is happening to the English language is not a natural evolution as some may believe but an…show more content…
In the second sentence of this quote Orwell explains that there is a extraordinary amount of overused metaphors that over time have lost their meaning and vividness to readers. This mutation occurs when a new writer attempts to mimic an old one by copying one of the metaphors from one of their works and misuse it. Orwell puts it simply "Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning without those who use them even being aware of the fact" (531). This example, as given by Orwell, proves his point that writers are not thinking about their work and are taking the easy way out. This is not an example of the evolution of a language as some may claim, but this is one example of how careless writers are mutating the
Open Document