January 06, 2014

George Orwell - [Loyalists] and the English Language

Loyalists Against Democracy (@LadFleg), myself and others in the public sphere are regularly reproached for making fun of illiteracy, bad spelling and broad accents. I'm regularly rebuffed as a "snob". A charge I reject, refrain and responded to directly here and here.
Those are made fun of for bad spelling and for poor grammar have committed unpardonable and intolerable acts. They are not beyond criticism. When they commit gratuitous and promiscuous criminality they inflict social and economic misery across the whole of Belfast and the whole of Northern Ireland.
In what name and in what cause do loyalists commit these unpardonable acts? They say that Sinn Fein are "chipping away at our culture?" and say that people are trying to wipe out protestants. As I've said before, these are grand claims and grand claims cannot go unchallenged. One way in which grand claims have to be challenged is by their presentation, including by their grammar and by their spelling. As David Ogilvy and George Orwell say below, poor language indicates poor thought. And poor thoughts must be discarded.
So surely if extravagant claims made by loyalists are made with spelling and gramatical errors, these are poor claims. So those errors should be noted and noted very clearly. Because these errors tell us that these grand claims are in fact, rubbish.
George Orwell said in his famous essay Politics and the English Language here:
"[English] becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible... If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers."
And as David Ogilvy said:
 "People who think well, write well."
Orwell built on this when he said:
 "If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them."
Then all of a sudden, you've been prostitued and pupeteered. For if someone thinks for you, and you act on those instructions, we just have to look to the famous Ghandi quote:
'Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.'
I say what we need is some sense, reason and rationality brought into the debate. For example, the fact that more and more Catholics are comfortable with the status quo and with remaining within the Union.

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