Eastasia

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

Daniel, your post turned on an interesting light bulb for me. For your efforts, however, the  Thought Police will no doubt seek to turn your lights out.

I often mock the way Winston’s friend Syme, that poor chap in Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, brags about how he is vaporizing thousands of words and removing them from the next edition of the NewSpeak dictionary. So “better” and “best” become “plusgood” and “doubleplusgood.” Why some day, we’ll have the entire vocabulary of Oceania down to 500 words!

It is the exact opposite of — and by that I mean that it stands in direct opposition to — Confucius’s observation that, in order to restore a collapsed society, the first priority must be to restore the proper meaning of words.

But what I have just realized is this: in 1984 alone, Orwell has bequeathed to us a cornucopia of new vocabulary.

The Thought Police, Big Brother, NewSpeak, the Versificator (long live Rock’n Roll), the Ministries of Truth and Love, the Memory Hole, Room 101 (which was the weight room at the Rockne Memorial Gym 50 years ago, appropriately), Victory Gin, the Inner Party… and, of course, vaporize, as in “eventually, Syme was vaporized.”

Thanks for the inspiration — but watch your back. The Thought Police are on your trail.

12:38 pm on October 27, 2012
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts