By controlling/changing the language
you can change the way that people think. Think about abortion. The
pro-abortionists have changed the language such that they are now referred
to as "Pro-Choice" and who could be against 'choice'. Therefore now if you
are anti-choice, you are anti-woman, anti-freedom. To be fair, though the
anti-abortionists have also renamed themselves as Pro-Life, their renaming
is not as drastic in its connotative meaning (the implications of a word
such as the emotions it evokes) and the Pro-Life moniker does
include a broader philosophy such as anti-death penalty.
The Antismoking crusaders have
developed this to a science and share the "positive language" that they
should all use to change the way people think. Here are some quotes
from an actual example (from smokefreeair.org; no longer available online):
"If somebody asks you if you are a smoker, answer them the
same way you would if they asked you if you were a Nazi or a child abuser."
"Use positive words to express yourself....A smoker, on the
other hand is un-healthy, smoky, anti-health, anti-clean indoor air, and
"We are health advocates; they are anti-health. In a
battle of pro-smoking vs. anti-smoking, we will always lose. In a
battle of pro-health vs. anti-health, we will always win."
They even have a sample antismoking vocabulary:
Just substitute "PC speech" for
"Newspeak and "the English language" for "Oldspeak" and George Orwell's
words below from Chapter 5 of 1984 (written in 1949) will scare
you...hopefully scare you into fighting for our Freedom of Thought!
'The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition,' he said. 'We're getting
the language into its final shape -- the shape it's going to have when
nobody speaks anything else. When we've finished with it, people like you
will have to learn it all over again. You think, I dare say, that our chief
job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We're destroying words --
scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We're cutting the language down
to the bone. The Eleventh Edition won't contain a single word that will
become obsolete before the year 2050.'
He bit hungrily into his bread and
swallowed a couple of mouthfuls, then continued speaking, with a sort of
pedant's passion. His thin dark face had become animated, his eyes had lost
their mocking expression and grown almost dreamy.
'It's a beautiful thing, the
destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and
adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well.
It isn't only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what
justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other
word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take "good", for instance. If
you have a word like "good", what need is there for a word like "bad"? "Ungood"
will do just as well -- better, because it's an exact opposite, which the
other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of "good", what sense
is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like "excellent"
and "splendid" and all the rest of them? "Plusgood" covers the meaning, or "doubleplusgood"
if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already.
but in the final version of Newspeak there'll be nothing else. In the end
the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words
-- in reality, only one word. Don't you see the beauty of that, Winston? It
was B.B.'s idea originally, of course,' he added as an afterthought.
A sort of vapid eagerness flitted
across Winston's face at the mention of Big Brother. Nevertheless Syme
immediately detected a certain lack of enthusiasm.
'You haven't a real appreciation of
Newspeak, Winston,' he said almost sadly. 'Even when you write it you're
still thinking in Oldspeak. I've read some of those pieces that you write in
The Times occasionally. They're good enough, but they're translations. In
your heart you'd prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its
useless shades of meaning. You don't grasp the beauty of the destruction of
words. Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose
vocabulary gets smaller every year?'
Winston did know that, of course. He
smiled, sympathetically he hoped, not trusting himself to speak. Syme bit
off another fragment of the dark-coloured bread, chewed it briefly, and went
'Don't you see that the whole aim of
Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?
Chapter 5 of Nineteen Eighty-Four by
May we see where the PC crowd is taking us before it is too late!