Opinion / Politics


WORDS are being eliminated from our language. Some words, never before considered derogatory, are being demoted to slur words. The redefinition Is occurring in real time via online dictionaries ?

This redefining, and in some cases elimination of certain words that describe complicated and important political and socio-economic systems, endangers the foundation our republic has been built on.

The First Amendment enumerates the natural right we are born with to speak freely. If words are manipulated and taken from a society as they were in George Orwell’s novel “1984” we may soon find ourselves facing the bleak world the citizens of Ingsoc lived in.

The language transformation Ingsoc utilized, according to Orwell, was a translation from OLDSPEAK to NEWSPEAK. OLDSPEAK words were either eliminated or redefined into NEWSPEAK.

BIG BROTHER determined which words could be used and which words had to be banned. The scenario George Orwell created in his novel “1984”, seems less and less like fiction.

Winston Smith, the main character of “1984”, worked at the Truth Ministry where he “corrected” records. The internet was not yet the route where information flowed. It was newspapers, books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs and every kind of literature or documentation which might contain any political or ideological significance that were subject to “correction”.

As soon as Winston’s “correction” was made, the original was destroyed. Day by day, and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. All written records were to agree with the Party version of the past. Anything that was not in agreement was to be thrown in a memory hole, never to be recalled again.

Citizens were expected to engage in a process called DOUBLETHINK. That meant citizens must know and not know simultaneously. They were trained to know the truth, while telling carefully constructed lies; to use logic against logic; to repudiate morality while laying a claim to it. They were to believe that democracy was impossible, yet the Party of Big Brother was the guardian of democracy. One had to use DOUBLETHINK to understand DOUBLETHINK.

Seems like the technology of today allows for a speedy transformation. A few keystrokes and words are redefined or eliminated. Evidence to prove wrongdoing can be erased quickly. Individuals and various publishers can be quieted via virtual “jail” or silenced via a ban…shadow or real.

Don’t allow yourself to be bullied into a DOUBLETHINK mindset. USE the language that is your preference.

Diana Erbio is a freelance writer and author of “Coming to America: A Girl Struggles to Find her Way in a New World”. Read her new blog series “Statues: The People They Salute” and visit the Facebook Page.

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