The Power of Language Misused in Politics and English Language and on Being Cripple

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In Orwell’s “Politics and English Language” argues about the use of vague language in political speeches as a mean to brain wash or confuse people. This is done in order to gain peoples trust, by using vague language and difficult words people assume that great must be coming out. In Nancy Mars’s “On Being Cripple” describes about the way society has brainwashed people to judge others to expose the true thoughts of a person living beneath the glamorized world.

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Although the education system needs to offer non-English classes where most of the 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 it.

Politics and English Language

In “Politics and English Language” the author says the decline of the English language is a reflection of the state of society and politics that this degeneration is inevitable and that its hopeless to resist it. This kind of language overly fraught with large words without conveying significant meaning is exceptionally susceptible to being used in propaganda. The author believes this type of speech is inherently insincere and that is why it is so useful in propaganda. In this essay he presents a list of corrupting habits that causes the writers to think poorly and thus write poorly. The list includes list of metaphors, pretentious diction and meaningless language. When a person becomes lazy, they allow their language to think for them. In this way, political writers end up following a party line. By using set phrases, they pantomime ideology without thinking. Independent thinking is necessary for a healthy political life. It demonstrates the deceptive effect of various political terms, showing how elevated, complex and abstract language actively disguises ugly and violent concrete realities. In this way, abstract language becomes a means for political writers to “justify unjustifiable.” It presents a list of tools that can be used to resist dishonest language. The author sees the use of honest language as political act in itself, a form of resistance against insidious and widespread manipulation of rhetorical structures. One of the most interesting actions he takes in this essay is to translate a passage from the Biblical text of Ecclesiastes. Known for its poignancy and illustrative metaphor, he reduces the Ecclesiastical passage to a baffling convolution of words that seems to barely mean the same thing as the original. By adding in larger, more flexible words and removing all the imagery, he removes all the clarity from the work and makes it much harder to understand all under the guise of updating the language. In the end of the essay he describes the faults in the five passages looked at the beginning and he also states how a writer should ask themselves certain questions to avoid having cloudy language and lists a few rules to follow in order to avoid the using of vague language.

On Being Cripple

Mair’s believes that crippled is a more proper definition for her condition than other words like disabled, handicapped, or differently abled. These euphemisms for her condition cause people to view her as something she isn’t. Mair’s believes that these words describe no one because ‘Society is no readier to accept crimplenes than to accept death, war, sweat, or wrinkles.’ She continues her story of multiple sclerosis and the hardships she endured. Mair’s goes into detail about how her life has changed since her diagnosis and how she has coped with the disease. She includes her need for help by the people around her but also delves into the fact that she can still teach and perform arduous tasks. She talks about her dependence on her family and how good her family treated her. She says she is scared ‘that people are kind to me only because I’m a cripple.’ Mair’s hates that our society is obsessed with physical appearance and normality. She states that, ‘anyone who deviates from the norm better find some way to compensate.’ This shows that she believes that American society has high expectations. She ends the essay by stating how she is getting used to having MS and how she isn’t sorry anymore that she is a cripple. Mair’s is thankful for what she has and the people who help her in her life. Overall, she is proud of herself and has recognized that life is what one makes it to be.


Both Orwell and Nancy Mair’s imply that the power of language can be misused and miss lead people by using vague language. The authors gave various examples on how language can be vague, since it lacks imagery and meaning.

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