Laura Fenton

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Orwell already warned us about apps that censor you

The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression of the world-view and mental habits proper…but to make all other modes of thought impossible. Its vocabulary was constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly …

Reality TV

The Freedom of the Press: George Orwell on the Media’s Toxic Self-Censorship

In 1937, George Orwell got the idea for his now-classic dystopian allegory exploring the ferocious dictatorship of Soviet Russia in a satirical tale eviscerating Stalin’s regime. In his 1946 essay <i>Why I Write</i>, Orwell remarked that this was his first conscious effort “to fuse political purpose and …

Opinion

Letters to the Editor<p>On this day

The reluctant patriot: how George Orwell reconciled himself with England

Orwell discovered the values of a practical, gentle, empirical people who didn't kill each other because they disagreed over politics.<p><i>George Orwell</i> …

George Orwell's schooldays

There are two St Cyprians. One is a martyr of the early church – a third-century bishop of Carthage who was put to death in AD258 by a proconsul of the emperor Valerian after refusing to pay obeisance to the pagan gods. The other, now regarded by scholars as a mythological figure and expunged from …

George Orwell, Feminist: The Beloved Author on Gender Equality in Work and Housework

Besides his great wisdom on why writers write and how to make the perfect cup of tea, <b>George Orwell</b> (June 25, 1903–January 21, 1950) also endures as a kind of cultural oracle who presaged the NSA era in <i>1984</i> and the Occupy era in <i>Animal Farm</i>. But it turns out he might have also presaged the <i>Lean In</i> era …

Which country has most closely matched the dystopian future of George Orwell's 1984?

<i>This question originally appeared on Quora.</i><p><b>Answer by Todd Gardiner:</b><p>Advertisement<p>North Korea is a great example:<p>Perpetual state of war (perpetuated …

Orwell was hailed a hero for fighting in Spain. Today he'd be guilty of terrorism

If George Orwell and Laurie Lee were to return from the Spanish civil war today, they would be arrested under section five of the Terrorism Act 2006. If convicted of fighting abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive" – a charge they would find hard to contest – they would …

George Orwell, Applied: Speaking, Writing, and Living Consciously

In George Orwell’s <i>1984</i>, the act of writing in a diary -- the attempt to write something away from public view -- constitutes a "thoughtcrime," likely …

Literature

10 George Orwell Quotes that Predicted Life in 2014 America

<i>By Justin King / The Anti-Media</i><p>George Orwell ranks among the most profound social critics of the modern era. Some of his quotations, more than a half …

Don't pack George Orwell, visitors to Thailand told

Travellers heading to Thailand have been urged not to carry a copy of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984<p>The warning can supposedly be found inside the in-flight magazine of Philippine Airlines and has been circulated on Twitter.<p>Passengers with Philippine Airlines are told that “<b>Thailand</b> is very …

George Orwell: no wonder the mere ordinary don't like him

The great reporter, essayist and novelist can withstand Will Self's silly barbs - and even an absurd comparison with Owen Jones<p>'Mediocrities everywhere, I absolve you all,” Salieri declared at the end of Peter Shaffer’s play, Amadeus. Salieri, the darling of the Habsburg court in 18th-century …

Literature

George Orwell was not a language fascist: Why we keep misinterpreting his words

Will Self’s attack on Orwell reveals the dramatic divide in contemporary fiction over clarity vs. embroidery<p>Although he was a writer who strove all his life to express himself clearly, George Orwell has suffered a rash of misreadings of late. The most recent comes from the British novelist Will …

George Orwell’s jail time confirmed by unseen court records

Author’s wilful arrest for drunkenness in order to experience prison while researching Down and Out in Paris and London had been questioned, but research confirms truth<p>The balance between fact and fiction in George Orwell’s investigations of poverty has been questioned ever since an anonymous …

George Orwell really did have a stint in jail as a drunk fish porter

If you had been walking down Mile End Road in London on Saturday December 19, 1931, you would have witnessed a scene common in the days before …

Seeing Things As They Are: Selected Journalism and Other Writings by George Orwell, review: 'a treat on every page'

George Orwell’s idiosyncratic journalism anticipated the age of social media<p>According to the Roman Catholic church, Francis de Sales, a 17th-century French priest, is the patron saint of writers and journalists. Be that as it may, most hacks in this country disagree. Here, our patron is Eric Blair, …

Literature

When Euphemism Disguises Truth: George Orwell's Foresight

George Orwell in BBC 1940<p>The battle over whether to apply the name of “torture” or “enhanced interrogation” to waterboarding, prolonged sleep …

If I were king for a day, George Orwell would be my language consultant

No more ‘actually’ or ‘almost unique’. Yes, English is a glorious, evolving thing – but my war on verbiage must be waged<p>Along with titles, lands and the accoutrements of my office will come the responsibility for the protection of what is currently referred to as the Queen’s English.<p>I would …

Language

Knoxville News Sentinel

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Orwell and Writing

You would be writers out there, of both fiction and nonfiction! Have a look at George Orwell's wonderful advice to writers of English prose—Politics …

Stop Taking Orwell's Name in Vain

The author loathed cliches and conveniently murky political buzzwords—like "Orwellian."<p>Time<p>Anyone who's read the commentary surrounding the news of the NSA's PRISM program knows that George Orwell remains ubiquitous decades after his death. TV pundits, editorial writers, and the average Twitter …

George Orwell says,'I told you so'.

by George Orwell<p>If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.<p>Whatever is funny is subversive, …

Fun Orwell facts!

14 bits of interesting trivia about <i>Nineteen Eighty-Four</i>, including the fact that he was under surveillance for his communist sympathies while he …

Oi, you – yes, youse lot – I’m talking to you, y’all

No 99 on my list of “things that shouldn’t bother me, but they do” is the fact that the English language has no second person plural pronoun (SPPP) and that “you” is used interchangeably.<p>Before you (plural, hopefully) dismiss this as a #middleclassproblem, let me assure you that it is not. It is a …

Language

Two Whoppers Junior, please. With hashes brown on the side

Plurals can be singular things. I am not talking about, say, trousers – which are plural for normal people, singular for fashionistas, or perhaps plural at the bottom and singular at the top; I mean singular in the sense of unusual.<p>The plurals of compound nouns – nouns (strictly noun phrases) made …

Language

If punctuation marks were people

The full stop is the northern matriarch; the semicolon is disgusted of Tunbridge Wells<p>In her recent book, Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, Mary Norris, who writes for the New Yorker, does something groundbreaking with punctuation.<p>She makes it interesting.<p>Exclamation marks, she writes …

Language

Economics jargon promotes a deficit in understanding

Here’s a riddle. I’m a translator, but I only know one language. I can’t talk in my Welsh Mam’s mother tongue and my Francophonic floundering leaves my friends in fits of giggles. I did German GCSE, but plonk me in the middle of Prussia and I’m not certain that asking the way to the nearest Italian …

Cancer Cells

Hi ... hey ... hello ... Dear reader, how do you start an email?

“Hi.”<p>No, forget that – too boring.<p>“Hey!”<p>Hmmm – too giddy.<p>“Wasssup!”<p>Yikes – too Budweiser.<p>It’s one of life’s little conundrums many of us are forced to confront every day: what salutation should we use to start an email?<p>When electronic mail first pinged on the scene – around the mid-90s – it felt …

Insurance

We deride them as ‘migrants’. Why not call them people?

What do the following people have in common: Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England; the former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen; Nigel Farage’s wife, Kirsten; Chelsea’s new striker, Pedro; and Sir Bradley Wiggins?<p>Yes, they are all migrants – or, if you prefer, immigrants. Having moved to …

European Union