Saturday 29 October 2011

Well, Harry

In 1984, the language of Newspeak pared to the bone the number of words freely available to the proletariat so that complex ideas of rebellion and insurrection could not be expressed and communication beyond the bare necessities of daily life became too difficult to bother with. In this way, Winston was bereft of the tools to explain his feelings and make sense of his world.

In real life Orwell himself bemoaned the kidnapping and enslavement of the language at the hands of politicians and the recent spate of mealy-mouthed 'un-apologies' beautifully illustrates the way in which words are pressed into the disservice of our supposedly elected sheep leaders. The amount of doublethink that must have gone into [the tit] Cameron's decision to use the whip on the 'We need to talk about Europe?' vote beggars belief. And of course, every broken promise of every political party is explained away by the snidely use of snivelling, weasel words and a bit of melancholic hand-wringing.

Well, in the new United Dingdom I'm having a war on words. Not getting rid of any, you understand - the more words the merrier, I say - just a crack-down on pointless pontification. (Apart from me, of course, I'm nothing if I'm not 'ponting'.) Whoever you are, you'll have to learn to talk properly and my first battle is against the widespread use of redundancy by those who influence the public, i.e. them on the telly.

For instance, what is 'designer' fashion? It all has to be designed, no matter what it costs, so it's just 'fashion', isn't it? Engineers refer to 'carbon' steel, when there is no other kind - you make steel by adding carbon to iron. How can anything be 'almost', 'quite', or 'fairly' unique? And if I hear one more company spokesman, local councillor, or financial analyst using the entirely redundant phrase 'going forward' I may well have to equip my snipers with bullshit-seeking rounds.

The use of 'I, personally' will definitely attract censure, as will, at the end of the dayto be honestwith all due respect , literally, one-hundred-and-ten-per-cent of every syllable which dribbles from the mouth of any footballer. This should never have to be endured (Steven Gerrard's accent is another gruesome offence entirely).

And, before, I explode with incandescent fury, I will introduce a mandatory violent sentence for anybody writing, saying, or even thinking 'should of' or any of its variants. That sentence will be, "You shitting ignorant fucking shitting shit!"

Sir Ernest Gowers must be spinning in his grave.

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