Vagueness and Sheer Incompetence

9 Sep 2003 /

This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems to be able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed; prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse.

— George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” (1945)

I am so glad to hear that, because I try to read political commentary every now and then, and I can very rarely figure out what if anything is being said.

I thought it was just me.


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