Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Newspeak in Usage

The vlogger FeverIAm suggested in his very first video back in 2008 on his YouTube account that viewers needed to do 2 things.

  1. Think for themselves
  2. Get a Copy of George Orwell's 1984 and read the Appendix entry on "Newspeak"
He provided this info by way of 2 videos on his channel which I've embedded for you here:

Newspeak Video #1

Newspeak Video #2

Now that you have an idea of what Newspeak is as opposed to conventional English which would be considered Oldspeak I wanted to give a few examples of Newspeak in everyday usage.

  • Politburo: this a Russian committee that represents multiple Communist political parties and is arrived at by contracting the 2 words: Political Bureau. Also in use in Russia at one time or another is: Orgburo (Organizational Bureau) & Comintern (The Communist International)
  • Torture becomes Enhanced Interrogation thus eliminating the unsavory aspects of the original word. You can see this also with the term Collateral Damage which is a remod (threw a little Newspeak of my own in to give you some extra flavor) of Civilian Casualties. The revised version now eliminates the murderous connotations from the expression. Friendly Fire reeks of Newspeak as the sudden terrible instance of being killed by your own peers is suddenly an exchange between friends.
  • In the Tobacco Industry teens are referred to as starters in the language used internally
  • Some have claimed Political Correctness is a form of Newspeak but this is debated since others say PC is just a way of speaking politely.
  • You see Newspeak techniques in terms like: estate tax as opposed to death tax, pro-life and pro-choice which paints the opposition as being anti-life or anti-choice
  • Excessive use of Abbreviations in the form of Acronyms is seen as another Newspeak technique
  • The current usage of Communism is seen as a form of Newspeak in that is stripped of its origins to become synonymous with "evil" & bad" when taken in a Cold War context.
Please leave in the comments any words or techniques you know of in real life that could fall under the classification of Newspeak.

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