1984-Orwell's Language

Oct 5, 2012

In George Orwell's "1984," chapter 5 includes a conversation between a Newspeak dictionary editor, Syme, and the main character, Winston. The two discuss Newspeak and how Syme believes that when the language is perfected, "The Revolution" of their society will be complete. The language is simplified and Syme has full confidence in its basic usage, while Winston still tends to write only "translations," rather than "speaking with his heart."
I believe language goes through cycles. These cycles may not be as dramatic as they are in the editing of Newspeak, but certain phrases or words definitely lose meaning or change over time. Our generation doesn't use slang such as "radical" to represent "cool," or say that something is going to be "a gas" to refer to having fun. Many people believe that our generation is losing meaning and that we are becoming a more simplified, stupid society. The truth is is that we are going through the same language cycle that affects every generation born into this world.