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On the 50th anniversary of Orwell's essay, Politics and the English Language, Andrew Marr finds political English in good health—thanks, in part, to Orwell's warnings. Power and brutality still hide behind evasive language, but are now more likely to do so in corporate culture

By Andrew Marr   April 1996

Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way…” That was how George Orwell began “Politics and the English Language,” published 50 years ago this April. It was one of his most subtly influential essays, an almost holy text for many thousands of journalists and other writers throughout the English speaking world. In it Orwell made a thrilling call to arms, shouting out for clear, clean English. In the essay, and through the example of his own vigorous prose, he demonstrated that the state of the language was a…

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