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Words: 693
Pages: 3

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Kyle Valentage WRD 104

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Kyle Valentage

WRD 104 Staley

Short Assignment #1 Final

2/12/12

For Those Who Bother With the Matter



“It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts” (Orwell). This quote from George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language,” is what the entire essay is centered upon. Orwell states that what is wrong with modern English is that it is hampered by “vagueness and incompetence.” Writers who are guilty are like machines, mechanically spewing out empty phrases that have been hardwired into their writing processes, however really meaning nothing at all to the readers. Later Orwell supports his point by listing and describing the exact reasons for this vagueness and incompetence; dying metaphors, verbal false limbs, pretentious diction, and meaningless words. Like any good argument, Orwell includes a paragraph with a counterargument and discredits this viewpoint with specific examples of metaphors that have been consciously wiped out by people willing to put forth an effort. In concluding his essay, Orwell lays out his solution, part of which is a set of rules all writers should follow, his solution is simple, “a deep change of attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the style
now fashionable.” Orwell creates an argumentative essay that follows the typical structure; his point, supporting details, opposing viewpoints, and a solution; all in order to inform people of the reasons for this ugliness of the English language while calling on the reader to make an effort at changing these attitudes toward writing.

Orwell’s reason for creating this argument is that he believes it’s the mechanical habits of the users that are putting the English language “In a bad way.” “A man may take a drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks.” Orwell attempts to fix this problem by including in this essay some of the most prevalent bad habits of writers. Orwell’s audience is really anyone who writes using the English language, specifically, anyone who includes these bad habits in their writings. People do not want to be scolded or called out on their writing style , therefore, to keep from the reader feeling angst toward himself, Orwell keeps a very mild tone throughout this essay, never stepping into…