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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Politics and the English Language

July 17, 2008

George Orwell
First published: Horizon. London, UK)
April 1946.

Most 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. Our civilization is
decadent and our language -- so the argument runs -- must inevitably
share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against
the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring
candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath
this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth
and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.

Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have
political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad
influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become
a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect
in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to
drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the
more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that
is happening to the English language. It 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. Modern English, especially written
English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which
can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. 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. I will come back to this
presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have
said here will have become clearer. Meanwhile, here are five
specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written.

These five passages have not been picked out because they are
especially bad -- I could have quoted far worse if I had chosen --
but because they illustrate various of the mental vices from which we
now suffer. They are a little below the average, but are fairly
representative examples. I number them so that I can refer back to
them when necessary:

1. I am not, indeed, sure whether it is not true to say that the
Milton who once seemed not unlike a seventeenth-century Shelley had
not become, out of an experience ever more bitter in each year, more
alien [sic] to the founder of that Jesuit sect which nothing could
induce him to tolerate. -- Professor Harold Laski (Essay in Freedom
of Expression)

2. Above all, we cannot play ducks and drakes with a native battery
of idioms which prescribes egregious collocations of vocables as the
Basic put up with for tolerate, or put at a loss for bewilder. --
Professor Lancelot Hogben (Interglossia)

3. On the one side we have the free personality: by definition it is
not neurotic, for it has neither conflict nor dream. Its desires,
such as they are, are transparent, for they are just what
institutional approval keeps in the forefront of consciousness;
another institutional pattern would alter their number and intensity;
there is little in them that is natural, irreducible, or culturally
dangerous. But on the other side, the social bond itself is nothing
but the mutual reflection of these self-secure integrities. Recall
the definition of love. Is not this the very picture of a small
academic? Where is there a place in this hall of mirrors for either
personality or fraternity? -- Essay on psychology in Politics (New York)

4. All the 'best people' from the gentlemen's clubs, and all the
frantic fascist captains, united in common hatred of Socialism and
bestial horror at the rising tide of the mass revolutionary movement,
have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval
legends of poisoned wells, to legalize their own destruction of
proletarian organizations, and rouse the agitated petty-bourgeoise to
chauvinistic fervor on behalf of the fight against the revolutionary
way out of the crisis. -- Communist pamphlet

5. If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is
one thorny and contentious reform which must be tackled, and that is
the humanization and galvanization of the B.B.C. Timidity here will
bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul. The heart of Britain may be
sound and of strong beat, for instance, but the British lion's roar
at present is like that of Bottom in Shakespeare's A Midsummer
Night's Dream — as gentle as any sucking dove. A virile new Britain
cannot continue indefinitely to be traduced in the eyes or rather
ears, of the world by the effete languors of Langham Place, brazenly
masquerading as 'standard English'. When the Voice of Britain is
heard at nine o'clock, better far and infinitely less ludicrous to
hear aitches honestly dropped than the present priggish, inflated,
inhibited, school-ma'amish arch braying of blameless bashful mewing
maidens! -- Letter in Tribune

Each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from
avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The
first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. The
writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he
inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to
whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and
sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern
English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As
soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the
abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are
not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the
sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together
like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house. I list below, with
notes and examples, various of the tricks by means of which the work
of prose-construction is habitually dodged.

DYING METAPHORS. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking
a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is
technically 'dead' (e. g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to
being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of
vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of
worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely
used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for
themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel
for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder
with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill,
fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles' heel,
swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their
meaning (what is a 'rift', for instance?), and incompatible metaphors
are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested
in what he is saying. Some metaphors now current have been twisted
out of their original meaning without those who use them even being
aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as
tow the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always
used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In
real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the
other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying
would avoid perverting the original phrase.

OPERATORS OR VERBAL FALSE LIMBS. These save the trouble of picking
out appropriate verbs and nouns, and at the same time pad each
sentence with extra syllables which give it an appearance of
symmetry. Characteristic phrases are render inoperative, militate
against, make contact with, be subjected to, give rise to, give
grounds for, have the effect of, play a leading part (role) in, make
itself felt, take effect, exhibit a tendency to, serve the purpose
of, etc., etc. The keynote is the elimination of simple verbs.
Instead of being a single word, such as break, stop, spoil, mend,
kill, a verb becomes a phrase, made up of a noun or adjective tacked
on to some general-purpose verb such as prove, serve, form, play,
render. In addition, the passive voice is wherever possible used in
preference to the active, and noun constructions are used instead of
gerunds (by examination of instead of by examining). The range of
verbs is further cut down by means of the -ize and de- formations,
and the banal statements are given an appearance of profundity by
means of the not un- formation. Simple conjunctions and prepositions
are replaced by such phrases as with respect to, having regard to,
the fact that, by dint of, in view of, in the interests of, on the
hypothesis that; and the ends of sentences are saved by anticlimax by
such resounding commonplaces as greatly to be desired, cannot be left
out of account, a development to be expected in the near future,
deserving of serious consideration, brought to a satisfactory
conclusion, and so on and so forth.

PRETENTIOUS DICTION. Words like phenomenon, element, individual (as
noun), objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary,
promote, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate,
are used to dress up a simple statement and give an air of scientific
impartiality to biased judgements. Adjectives like epoch-making,
epic, historic, unforgettable, triumphant, age-old, inevitable,
inexorable, veritable, are used to dignify the sordid process of
international politics, while writing that aims at glorifying war
usually takes on an archaic colour, its characteristic words being:
realm, throne, chariot, mailed fist, trident, sword, shield, buckler,
banner, jackboot, clarion. Foreign words and expressions such as cul
de sac, ancien regime, deus ex machina, mutatis mutandis, status quo,
gleichschaltung, weltanschauung, are used to give an air of culture
and elegance. Except for the useful abbreviations i.e., e.g., and
etc., there is no real need for any of the hundreds of foreign
phrases now current in the English language. Bad writers, and
especially scientific, political, and sociological writers, are
nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are
grander than Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like expedite,
ameliorate, predict, extraneous, deracinated, clandestine,
subaqueous, and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their
Anglo-Saxon numbers(1). The jargon peculiar to Marxist writing
(hyena, hangman, cannibal, petty bourgeois, these gentry, lackey,
flunkey, mad dog, White Guard, etc.) consists largely of words
translated from Russian, German, or French; but the normal way of
coining a new word is to use Latin or Greek root with the appropriate
affix and, where necessary, the size formation. It is often easier to
make up words of this kind (deregionalize, impermissible,
extramarital, non-fragmentary and so forth) than to think up the
English words that will cover one's meaning. The result, in general,
is an increase in slovenliness and vagueness.

MEANINGLESS WORDS. In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art
criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long
passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning(2). Words
like romantic, plastic, values, human, dead, sentimental, natural,
vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in the
sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but
are hardly ever expected to do so by the reader. When one critic
writes, 'The outstanding feature of Mr. X's work is its living
quality', while another writes, 'The immediately striking thing about
Mr. X's work is its peculiar deadness', the reader accepts this as a
simple difference opinion. If words like black and white were
involved, instead of the jargon words dead and living, he would see
at once that language was being used in an improper way. Many
political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no
meaning except in so far as it signifies 'something not desirable'.
The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic,
justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be
reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy,
not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one
is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when
we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the
defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and
fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied
down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a
consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his
own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means
something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true
patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic
Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent
to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more
or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive,
reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let
me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to.
This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one. I am going to
translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst
sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:

"I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift,
nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet
riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but
time and chance happeneth to them all."

Here it is in modern English:

"Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the
conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits
no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a
considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken
into account.

This is a parody, but not a very gross one. Exhibit (3) above, for
instance, contains several patches of the same kind of English. It
will be seen that I have not made a full translation. The beginning
and ending of the sentence follow the original meaning fairly
closely, but in the middle the concrete illustrations -- race,
battle, bread -- dissolve into the vague phrases 'success or failure
in competitive activities'. This had to be so, because no modern
writer of the kind I am discussing -- no one capable of using phrases
like 'objective considerations of contemporary phenomena' -- would
ever tabulate his thoughts in that precise and detailed way. The
whole tendency of modern prose is away from concreteness. Now analyze
these two sentences a little more closely. The first contains
forty-nine words but only sixty syllables, and all its words are
those of everyday life. The second contains thirty-eight words of
ninety syllables: eighteen of those words are from Latin roots, and
one from Greek. The first sentence contains six vivid images, and
only one phrase ('time and chance') that could be called vague. The
second contains not a single fresh, arresting phrase, and in spite of
its ninety syllables it gives only a shortened version of the meaning
contained in the first. Yet without a doubt it is the second kind of
sentence that is gaining ground in modern English. I do not want to
exaggerate. This kind of writing is not yet universal, and outcrops
of simplicity will occur here and there in the worst-written page.
Still, if you or I were told to write a few lines on the uncertainty
of human fortunes, we should probably come much nearer to my
imaginary sentence than to the one from Ecclesiastes.

As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist
in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing
images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming
together long strips of words which have already been set in order by
someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The
attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy. It is easier --
even quicker, once you have the habit — to say In my opinion it is
not an unjustifiable assumption that than to say I think. If you use
ready-made phrases, you not only don't have to hunt about for the
words; you also don't have to bother with the rhythms of your
sentences since these phrases are generally so arranged as to be more
or less euphonious. When you are composing in a hurry -- when you are
dictating to a stenographer, for instance, or making a public speech
-- it is natural to fall into a pretentious, Latinized style. Tags
like a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind or a
conclusion to which all of us would readily assent will save many a
sentence from coming down with a bump. By using stale metaphors,
similes, and idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of
leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for
yourself. This is the significance of mixed metaphors. The sole aim
of a metaphor is to call up a visual image. When these images clash
-- as in The Fascist octopus has sung its swan song, the jackboot is
thrown into the melting pot -- it can be taken as certain that the
writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is naming; in
other words he is not really thinking. Look again at the examples I
gave at the beginning of this essay. Professor Laski (1) uses five
negatives in fifty three words. One of these is superfluous, making
nonsense of the whole passage, and in addition there is the slip --
alien for akin -- making further nonsense, and several avoidable
pieces of clumsiness which increase the general vagueness. Professor
Hogben (2) plays ducks and drakes with a battery which is able to
write prescriptions, and, while disapproving of the everyday phrase
put up with, is unwilling to look egregious up in the dictionary and
see what it means; (3), if one takes an uncharitable attitude towards
it, is simply meaningless: probably one could work out its intended
meaning by reading the whole of the article in which it occurs. In
(4), the writer knows more or less what he wants to say, but an
accumulation of stale phrases chokes him like tea leaves blocking a
sink. In (5), words and meaning have almost parted company. People
who write in this manner usually have a general emotional meaning --
they dislike one thing and want to express solidarity with another --
but they are not interested in the detail of what they are saying. A
scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself
at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words
will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this
image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask
himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything
that is avoidably ugly? But you are not obliged to go to all this
trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and
letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. The will construct
your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a
certain extent — and at need they will perform the important service
of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at
this point that the special connection between politics and the
debasement of language becomes clear.

In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing.
Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is
some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a 'party
line'. Orthodoxy, of whatever colour, seems to demand a lifeless,
imitative style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets,
leading articles, manifestos, White papers and the speeches of
undersecretaries do, of course, vary from party to party, but they
are all alike in that one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid,
homemade turn of speech. When one watches some tired hack on the
platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases — bestial,
atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the
world, stand shoulder to shoulder — one often has a curious feeling
that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a
feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light
catches the speaker's spectacles and turns them into blank discs
which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether
fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some
distance toward turning himself into a machine. The appropriate
noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved,
as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the
speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and
over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one
is when one utters the responses in church. And this reduced state of
consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favourable to
political conformity.

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of
the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in
India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom
bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which
are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with
the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language
has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer
cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air,
the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle
machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is
called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms
and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry:
this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers.
People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of
the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is
called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed
if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of
them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor
defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, 'I believe
in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing
so'. Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:

"While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain
features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must,
I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political
opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and
that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to
undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement."

The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin
words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and
covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is
insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's
declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and
exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age
there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics'. All issues are
political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions,
folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad,
language must suffer. I should expect to find — this is a guess which
I have not sufficient knowledge to verify -- that the German, Russian
and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or
fifteen years, as a result of dictatorship.

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people
who should and do know better. The debased language that I have been
discussing is in some ways very convenient. Phrases like a not
unjustifiable assumption, leaves much to be desired, would serve no
good purpose, a consideration which we should do well to bear in
mind, are a continuous temptation, a packet of aspirins always at
one's elbow. Look back through this essay, and for certain you will
find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am
protesting against. By this morning's post I have received a pamphlet
dealing with conditions in Germany. The author tells me that he 'felt
impelled' to write it. I open it at random, and here is almost the
first sentence I see: '[The Allies] have an opportunity not only of
achieving a radical transformation of Germany's social and political
structure in such a way as to avoid a nationalistic reaction in
Germany itself, but at the same time of laying the foundations of a
co-operative and unified Europe.' You see, he 'feels impelled' to
write -- feels, presumably, that he has something new to say -- and
yet his words, like cavalry horses answering the bugle, group
themselves automatically into the familiar dreary pattern. This
invasion of one's mind by ready-made phrases (lay the foundations,
achieve a radical transformation) can only be prevented if one is
constantly on guard against them, and every such phrase anaesthetizes
a portion of one's brain.

I said earlier that the decadence of our language is probably
curable. Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an
argument at all, that language merely reflects existing social
conditions, and that we cannot influence its development by any
direct tinkering with words and constructions. So far as the general
tone or spirit of a language goes, this may be true, but it is not
true in detail. Silly words and expressions have often disappeared,
not through any evolutionary process but owing to the conscious
action of a minority. Two recent examples were explore every avenue
and leave no stone unturned, which were killed by the jeers of a few
journalists. There is a long list of flyblown metaphors which could
similarly be got rid of if enough people would interest themselves in
the job; and it should also be possible to laugh the not un-
formation out of existence(3), to reduce the amount of Latin and
Greek in the average sentence, to drive out foreign phrases and
strayed scientific words, and, in general, to make pretentiousness
unfashionable. But all these are minor points. The defence of the
English language implies more than this, and perhaps it is best to
start by saying what it does not imply.

To begin with it has nothing to do with archaism, with the salvaging
of obsolete words and turns of speech, or with the setting up of a
'standard English' which must never be departed from. On the
contrary, it is especially concerned with the scrapping of every word
or idiom which has outworn its usefulness. It has nothing to do with
correct grammar and syntax, which are of no importance so long as one
makes one's meaning clear, or with the avoidance of Americanisms, or
with having what is called a 'good prose style'. On the other hand,
it is not concerned with fake simplicity and the attempt to make
written English colloquial. Nor does it even imply in every case
preferring the Saxon word to the Latin one, though it does imply
using the fewest and shortest words that will cover one's meaning.
What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and
not the other way around. In prose, the worst thing one can do with
words is surrender to them. When you think of a concrete object, you
think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you
have been visualising you probably hunt about until you find the
exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract
you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you
make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come
rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even
changing your meaning. Probably it is better to put off using words
as long as possible and get one's meaning as clear as one can through
pictures and sensations. Afterward one can choose -- not simply
accept -- the phrases that will best cover the meaning, and then
switch round and decide what impressions one's words are likely to
make on another person. This last effort of the mind cuts out all
stale or mixed images, all prefabricated phrases, needless
repetitions, and humbug and vagueness generally. But one can often be
in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules
that one can rely on when instinct fails. I think the following rules
will cover most cases:

    1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which
you are used to seeing in print.
    2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
    3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
    4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
    5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon
word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
    6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

These rules sound elementary, and so they are, but they demand a deep
change of attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the
style now fashionable. One could keep all of them and still write bad
English, but one could not write the kind of stuff that I quoted in
those five specimens at the beginning of this article.

I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but
merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for
concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and others have come
near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have
used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism.
Since you don't know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against
Fascism? One need not swallow such absurdities as this, but one ought
to recognise that the present political chaos is connected with the
decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some
improvement by starting at the verbal end. If you simplify your
English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You
cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a
stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself.
Political language -- and with variations this is true of all
political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to
make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an
appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a
moment, but one can at least change one's own habits, and from time
to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out
and useless phrase -- some jackboot, Achilles' heel, hotbed, melting
pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse --
into the dustbin where it belongs.

1) An interesting illustration of this is the way in which the
English flower names which were in use till very recently are being
ousted by Greek ones, snapdragon becoming antirrhinum, forget-me-not
becoming myosotis, etc. It is hard to see any practical reason for
this change of fashion: it is probably due to an instinctive
turning-awayfrom the more homely word and a vague feeling that the
Greek word is scientific.
2) Example: 'Comfort's catholicity of perception and image, strangely
Whitmanesque in range, almost the exact opposite in aesthetic
compulsion, continues to evoke that trembling atmospheric
accumulative ginting at a cruel, an inexorably selene timelessness...
Wrey Gardiner scores by aiming at simple bull's-eyes with precision.
Only they are not so simple, and through this contented sadness runs
more than the surface bitter-sweet of resignation'. (Poetry Quarterly.)
3) One can cure oneself of the not un- formation by memorizing this
sentence: A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a
not ungreen field.
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