Unspeak, which is one of my favourite blogs, posted not-very-approvingly about one of my favourite essays and reminded me that I’d been meaning to re-read “Politics And The English Language”. Orwell’s essay serves as a brusque shorthand among some of my friends for literary quality: if you want to point out that something is badly written, the most economical way about it is to mutter “Orwell” and roll your eyes. So it was pretty disappointing to find on further encounter with the essay that Steven Poole’s assessment is a lot more astute that my undergraduate reading.
It seemed very likely that I would become an academic. Continue reading