In the news: Newspeak, 2017

George Orwell, 1984 / Wikimedia Commons

What links these seven words: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based.

You guessed: they’re banned. Banned by the Trump administration. On Thursday, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the US’s top public health agencies, were told that these seven words or phrases are prohibited henceforth in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget. Read the whole story in the Washington Post.

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. . . . The process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there’s no reason or excuse for commiting thought-crime. It’s merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won’t be any need even for that. . . . Has it ever occcured to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?” — George Orwell, 1984

Welcome to Newspeak 2017.


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