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Subject: Re: The influence of language on thought ( 35 of 58 )
Posted by TimW

Whenever people discuss simplifying language (i.e. cutting out ambiguity and subtlety) to make it clearer, I am always reminded of the passage in George Orwell's novel "1984" describing the theory behind NewSpeak.

Essentially what is said is that cutting down the vocabulary, replacing words with subtly different meanings with a single generalised synonym, cuts down the potential for subtlety and ambiguity in thought.

Of course too much jargon and ambiguity is a bad thing, but the people who fight hardest for simplification of language are often those who want everybody to think EXACTLY the same as they do. A double plus ungood idea.

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