Sunday, July 05, 2009

From Orwell's Politics of the English Language:

"""Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to. This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one. I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Here it is in modern English:

Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account."""

Whoa. Orwell knew the score on liberal bloviation decades before the DailyKOS boutique or postmodernists arrived (tho' yes, the Limbaugh-right bloviates, tho' they tend to stick to monosyllables).


Righteous Bubba said...

C'mon, I don't read Kos except when pointed there by others - maybe I don't know what "boutique" means - but I don't see evidence that frontpagers air shit like that out much.

On the right, if you're going for the hoi Palin, big words wouldn't make much sense.

J said...

Kossacks don't engage in too much bureaucratese, but it appears at times-- once in a while some jargon might be preferable to the bad gonzo. I note the Bureaucratese mainly on those egghead threads--econ., or environmental issues-- few people read.

Crooked Timber does not lack for it either: CT regs specialize in DoubleSpeak, of a specifically eastcoast sociological sort.

You are correct about the Palinsters though. I doubt you would see a word like "phenomena" on any normal GOP site, unless the papist crypto-nazi sort (and they aren't too popular anymore after Roody was trashed).

Apologies for delays due to moderation, RB (and others). We have a regular Palinster, aka B-ius (tho' LDS sort--even worse--and he pretends to be....Demo as well. heh heh) who leaves regular death-threats here, and I had to start screening comments, or come home from work (I'm offline for hours at time) and see the usual
10th grade white trash taunts and obscenities.

Righteous Bubba said...

Yeah, obviously some of the CTers need some restraining. My favourite people there keep it pithy.

Ever seen this guy?

Dead blog, and he doesn't write much anymore, but he moved here:

There's a vein of right-wing douchebaggery that justifies the anti-intellectualism with intellectualism, and if you can read it it's very funny.

J said...

My favourite people there keep it pithy.

Who? Emerson? Pithy CT is not. Henry's bad Deweyan prose--Dewey with pie graphs-- seems right out of Orwell's POTEL. Sociologists and economists in general seem most prone to the bureaucratese, though it's not unknown among philosophical or humanities types (such as Holblo, but he's got other problems--maybe even a bit of narcissistic personality disorder.). DeLong's actually not the worst blogger around--he manages to be somewhat pithy, and can still spin complex economic analysis with the best.

Pithyness presents challenges for most 'Mericans, RB, however (meself included). Mericans may detest frenchy-marxist sorts, but they detest the English-royalists nearly as much. 'Mericans approve of LimbaughPseak, or gangsta-like dialect. PT Barnum, Charlie Chan.

Put on airs like a Hitchens or Bertie Russell--or Keynes--and you're likely to get jacked, at least if you're not fortunate enough to live in nice college towns.

Righteous Bubba said...

I think Walt is my fave commenter at CT. Rarely is the three-sentence threshold crossed and it's mostly funny and sharp.

I don't worry about the writing style of the contributors at all. There are libraries full of people I read for the writing, and the CT folks advance their ideas comprehensibly, so I'm not in much of a panic over the prose.

J said...

As far as blog writing goes CT regs do alright. Berube bugs me, though. He writes a few interesting thangs, and then back to the par-tay line. He's a master of the sportswriter-stalinist-lite style.

The Rawls discussion from a few months back was pretty good, tho' RawlsSpeak itself a bit dry--and Deweyan--, especially for those in Consumerland accustomed to Limbaugh vs. Franken. That said, I'll take Dewey and Rawls (both in content, and prose style) over the apparatchiks or Limbaugh mouths.

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