Clinton most commonly does so by using inclusive pronouns to qualify his personal, or his own party s exclusive, views. There may be general pietistic references to the diety in some documents made for the sake of the formalities of the era, but there was no strong agreement among the framers of the Constitution on such a statement. Again, the false limbs utilized create a vagueness in which even Clinton can not find meaning. This is perhaps Clinton s favorite method of presenting himself as more Moderate and acquiring the support of a majority of American voters. The Review of English Studies.
In each instance, Clinton uses language with vague meaning that deceives. The tones expressed in this essay were feelings of assertiveness and bitterness. Clinton uses the promise of America, created equal, across the continent, saved the union, awful scourge of slavery, and the American Century in just three sentences, yet manages to keep from making a clear point 1. Values, interests, opportunity, prejudice and contempt, political diversity, vision, responsibility, decency, human spirit: all are words whose uses conjure different ideas from different individuals. In this he highlights the double-talk and appalling prose of in the same magazine, and cites 's damnation of the prose of in Mission to Moscow.
Metaphors are often used to make the abstract seem real. Like verbal filler and the passive voice, pretentious words are used to give the impression of scientific objectivity. Many political words are similarly abused. Orwell rationalizes how many writers use extraneous verbs and nouns to pad sentences and create the illusion of symmetry. Orwell was self assured that what he was writing was true in our society and was bitter about the downfall of the English language. In clear terms, Orwell describes the cycle in which the poor use of language becomes reinforced by that poor use.
When actually considered on a critical level, however, it is obvious that Clinton is actually successfully stating a biased opinion with language that, on the surface, sounds objective. Orwell encourages concreteness and clarity instead of vagueness, and individuality over political conformity. What words will express it? In a search for clear meaning and straight-forward honesty, Clinton s speech simply falls apart. But in between those two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Political writers unthinkingly repeat familiar patterns, use set phrases and make their language sound a certain way rather than use language to deliver a specific intended meaning.
Examples: Jack and Joe are fishing at the lake. The sole aim of a metaphor is to call up a visual image. This preoccupation is also visible in , and continued as an underlying theme of Orwell's work for the years after. Precious gift of time, and timeless wisdom are two over-used, mindless metaphors that Clinton uses 3. Those choices made all the difference 1. As he lays out his analysis of corrupt language, the politics of his topic become apparent.
In addition, the passive voice is wherever possible used in preference to the active, and noun constructions are used instead of gerunds by examination of instead of by examining. These are the rules Orwell suggests: i Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. There are many, many more. Summary Orwell opens by discussing the value of working against the decay of the English language. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to airplanes. The headmaster's wife at , Mrs. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
Characteristic phrases are render inoperative, militate against, make contact with, be subjected to, give rise to, give grounds for, have the effect of, play a leading part role in, make itself felt, take effect, exhibit a tendency to, serve the purpose of, etc. Orwell discusses the recurring tendency of bad writers to glorify shorter words with longer but not necessarily correct ones. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Venturing beyond Orwell s explanation, and even his time, this simple concept proves itself useful in receniting from willful obfuscation, the literary enterprise will have made considerable progress Pinsker, 8. Congress will probably cut the welfare budget. In science writing, dying metaphors can be most easily seen in journal article titles. Clinton s speech is sprinkled with popular political words that are often abused.
George Orwell goes on to cite passages from several prominent essays and articles, concluding on the similarities in their staleness of imagery and lack of precision. Words like romantic, plastic, values, human, dead, sentimental, natural, vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly even expected to do so by the reader. He shows how other examples lead to a general sloppiness and vagueness, by which writers avoid committing to the meaning of their sentences. Clinton uses exactly what Orwell warns against: euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness 2468. He cites types of language abuse such as dying metaphors, operators or verbal false limbs, pretentious diction or euphemisms, and vague or meaningless words. Characteristic phrases are: render inoperative, militate against, prove unacceptable, make contact with, be subjected to, give rise to, give grounds for, have the effect of, play a leading part role in, make itself felt, serve the purpose of, etc.