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 ). The range of verbs is further cut down by means of the -ize and de- formations, and the banal statements are given an appearance of profundity by means of the not un- formation. Simple conjunctions and prepositions are replaced by such phrases as with respect to, having regard to, the fact that, by dint of, in view of, in the interests of, on the hypothesis that ; and the ends of sentences are saved by anticlimax by such. Words like phenomenon, element, individual (as noun objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary, promote, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate, are used to dress up a simple statement and give an air of scientific impartiality to biased judgements. Adjectives like epoch-making, epic, historic, unforgettable, triumphant, age-old, inevitable, inexorable, veritable, are used to dignify the sordid process of international politics, while writing that aims at glorifying war usually takes on an archaic colour, its characteristic words being: realm, throne, chariot, mailed fist, trident, sword. Foreign words and expressions such as cul de sac, ancien regime, deus ex machina, mutatis mutandis, status quo, gleichschaltung, weltanschauung, are used to give an air of culture and elegance.
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and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying. Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning without those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as tow the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would avoid perverting the original phrase. Operators or verbal false limbs. These save the trouble of picking out appropriate resume verbs and nouns, and at the same time pad each sentence with extra syllables which give it an appearance of symmetry. 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., etc. The keynote is the elimination of simple verbs. Instead of being a single word, methodology such as break, stop, spoil, mend, kill, a verb becomes a phrase, made up of a noun or adjective tacked on to some general-purpose verb such as prove, serve, form, play, render.
The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the about 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 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. I list below, with notes and examples, various of the tricks by means of which the work of prose-construction is habitually dodged. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically dead (e. Iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these 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. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a rift, for instance?
If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is one thorny and contentious reform which must be tackled, and that is the humanization and galvanization of the. Timidity here will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul. The heart of Britain may be sound and of strong beat, for instance, but the British lion's roar at present is like that of Bottom in Shakespeare's. A midsummer Night's Dream — as gentle as any sucking dove. A virile new Britain cannot continue indefinitely to be traduced in the eyes or rather ears, of the world by the effete languors of Langham Place, brazenly masquerading as standard English. When the voice of Britain is heard at nine o'clock, better far and infinitely less ludicrous to hear aitches honestly dropped than the present priggish, inflated, inhibited, school-ma'amish arch braying word of blameless bashful mewing maidens! Letter in, tribune, each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision.
Its desires, such as they are, are transparent, for they are just what institutional approval keeps in the forefront of consciousness; another institutional pattern would alter their number and intensity; there is little in them that is natural, irreducible, or culturally dangerous. But on the other side, the social bond itself is nothing but the mutual reflection of these self-secure integrities. Recall the definition of love. Is not this the very picture of a small academic? Where is there a place in this hall of mirrors for either personality or fraternity? Essay on psychology. Politics (New York). All the best people from the gentlemen's clubs, and all the frantic fascist captains, united in common hatred of Socialism and bestial horror at the rising tide of the mass revolutionary movement, have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval legends.
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Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step thesis toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers. I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer. Meanwhile, here are five specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written. These five passages have not been picked out because they are especially bad — i could have"d far worse if I had chosen — but because they illustrate various of the mental vices from which we now suffer. They are a little below the average, but are fairly representative examples. I number them so that I can refer back to them when necessary:.
I am not, indeed, sure whether it is not true to say that the milton who once seemed games not unlike a seventeenth-century Shelley had not become, out of an experience ever more bitter in each year, more alien sic to the founder of that Jesuit. Professor Harold Laski (Essay in, freedom of Expression ). Above all, we cannot play ducks and drakes with a native battery of idioms which prescribes egregious collocations of vocables as the basic put up with for tolerate, or put at a loss for bewilder. Professor Lancelot Hogben interglossia ). On the one side we have the free personality: by definition it is not neurotic, for it has neither conflict nor dream.
see more popular essays Shakespeare bible strunk anatomy nonfiction"tions reference fiction poetry m top 150 subjects titles authors world Lit. Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about. Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.
Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. 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. The point is that the process is reversible.
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26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. 27 Why sayest thou, o jacob, and speakest, o israel, biography my way is hid from the l ord, and my judgment is passed over from my god? 28 Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the l ord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. 29 he giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 but they that wait upon the l ord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and. Check out our other writing samples, like our resources on Computer Crime Essay, competitive advantage Essay, competencies in counseling Essay.
20 he that unit is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. 21 have ye not known? Have ye not heard? Hath it not been told you from the beginning? Have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: 23 that bringeth the princes to nothing;. 24 yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown; yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. 25 to whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? Saith the holy One.
the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? 13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the l ord, or being his counselor hath taught him? 2.16 14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. 16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. 17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. 18 to whom then will ye liken God? Or what likeness will ye compare unto him? 19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.
1.23 4, every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill about shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5 and the glory of the l, ord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see. 3.4-6 6, the voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: 7 the grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the spirit of the l ord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. 8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. 1.10, 11 1 Pet. 1.24, 25 9 o zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; o jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, behold your God! 10 Behold, the lord g od will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
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Select searchWorld Factbookroget's Int'l ThesaurusBartlett's"tionsRespectfully"dFowler's King's EnglishStrunk's StyleMencken's LanguageCambridge historyThe king James BibleOxford ShakespeareGray's AnatomyFarmer's cookbookpost's EtiquetteBrewer's Phrase fableBulfinch's MythologyFrazer's Golden boughAll VerseAnthologiesDickinson,. Hopkins, ats, wrence, sters, ndburg, ssoon,. Wordsworth, ats, l NonfictionHarvard ClassicsAmerican EssaysEinstein's RelativityGrant, osevelt,. Wells's HistoryPresidential InauguralsAll FictionShelf of FictionGhost StoriesShort StoriesShaw, ein, evenson,. Reference the bible the king James Version isaiah 40, contents, bibliographic record, the holy bible: King James Version. The book of the Prophet, isaiah. The l, ord 's Comforting Words to zion 1, comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2, speak ye comfortably to jerusalem, and paper cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the l, ord 's hand double for all her sins. 3, the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the l, ord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.