posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 01:38 AM
George Orwell, in his classic novel "1984," described a system of language called "Newspeak." With Newspeak, the English language was whittled
down to have fewer and fewer words. For example, instead of "good and bad," there was only "good" and "ungood." Rather than having a whole
string of words like "excellent," "splendid," "superb," and so on, all these words were eliminated and replaced with simply "plusgood"
(meaning "very good") or "doubleplusgood," ("very, very good). You get the idea. Grammar, vocabulary, adjectives...all were reduced to as great
an extent as possible. The government's aim was to obliterate words so a dictionary would shrink from a fat volume to something as slim as a short
The idea behind all this was to restrict human thought. With an increasingly simplistic language, people gradually came to lack the vocabulary to even
entertain complex, intelligent thought at all. All their thoughts became black-and-white, very rudimentary. This prevented unorthodox thought from
even arising, and made the people easier for the evil government to control.
It strikes me that our society is undergoing a similar "verbal holocaust" today. People read less and less. Long passages are all "TL,DR."
Attention deficit is not merely tolerated -- it is celebrated! Kids use text messages and "l33t speak." "Memes" from sites like 4chan replace
complex vocabulary and grammar. Short words like "epic," "win," "get." or "fail" replace more complex and nuanced vocabulary. Grammar is
mutilated to result in constructions like, "I can has cheezburger nao?" Spelling goes out the window. Everything is expressed through pictures and a
vocabulary of 150 words or so.
It strikes me that this has the potential to be very dangerous, to wreck havoc with complex thought, and to make people easier to manipulate -- just
like Orwell's Newspeak. One wonders whether an actual conspiracy to restrict thought is afoot, or whether people are simply doing it to themselves
mindlessly. Either way, it is a worrisome trend that opens people up to the possibility of control and manipulation.