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Newspeak 2013

Newspeak is the  language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individualitypeace, etc. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as “thoughtcrime.”

We will be reporting Newspaeak from  mainstream and local media 

Examples of Newspeak

“Bellyfeel”

The word bellyfeel refers to a blind, enthusiastic acceptance of an idea. “Consider, for example, such a typical sentence from a Times leading article as ‘Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Ingsoc.’ The shortest rendering one could make of this in Oldspeak would be: ‘Those whose ideas were formed before the Revolution cannot have a full emotional understanding of the principles of English Socialism.’ But this is not an adequate translation…. Only a person thoroughly grounded in Ingsoc could appreciate the full force of the word bellyfeel, which implied a blind, enthusiastic and casual acceptance difficult to imagine today.”

“Blackwhite”

Blackwhite is defined as follows: “…this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink.” —Orwell, 1984 The word is an example of Newspeak and doublethink. It represents the active process of rewriting the past — a vital aspect of the Party’s control over the present. The ability to blindly believe anything, regardless of its absurdity, can have different causes: respect for authority, fear, indoctrination, even critical laziness or gullibility. Orwell’s blackwhite refers only to that caused by fear, indoctrination or repression of one’s individual critical thinking (“to know black is white”), rather than caused by laziness or gullibility. A true Party member could automatically, and without thought, expunge any “incorrect” information and totally replace it with “true” information from the Party. If properly done, there is no memory or recovery of the “incorrect” information that could cause unhappiness to the Party member by committing thoughtcrime. Crimethink” Crimethink is the Newspeak word for thoughtcrime (thoughts that are unorthodox or outside the official government platform), as well as the verb meaning “to commit thoughtcrime.” Goodthink, which is approved by the Party, is the opposite of crimethink. In the book, Winston Smith, the main character, writes in his diary,

“Crimethink”

Crimethink is the Newspeak word for thoughtcrime (thoughts that are unorthodox or outside the official government platform), as well as the verb meaning “to commit thoughtcrime.” Goodthink, which is approved by the Party, is the opposite of crimethink. In the book, Winston Smith, the main character, writes in his diary,

“Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death.” —Orwell, 1984

“Duckspeak”

Duckspeak is a Newspeak term meaning literally to quack like a duck or to speak without thinking. Duckspeak can be good or “ungood” (bad) depending on who is speaking, and whether what they are saying aligns with the ideals of Big Brother. To speak rubbish and lies may be ungood, but to speak rubbish and lies for the good of The Party may be good. In the appendix to 1984, Orwell explains: “Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word duckspeak […]. Like various words in the B vocabulary, duckspeak was ambivalent in meaning. Provided that the opinions which were quacked out were orthodox ones, it implied nothing but praise, and when the Times referred to one of the orators of the Party as a doubleplusgood duckspeaker it was paying a warm and valued compliment.” —Orwell, 1984 An example of duckspeak in action is provided in chapter 9, when an Inner Party speaker is haranguing the crowd about the crimes of Eurasia when a note is passed into his hand. He never stops speaking or changes his inflection, but (according to the changed Party position) he now condemns the crimes of Eastasia, which is Oceania’s new enemy.

“Goodsex” & “Sexcrime”

Goodsex is any form of sex considered acceptable by the Party. Specifically, this refers only to married heterosexual sex for the exclusive purpose of providing new children for the Party. All other forms of sex are considered sexcrime.

“Ownlife”

Ownlife refers to the tendency to enjoy being solitary or individualistic, which is considered subversive. Winston Smith comments that even to go for a walk by oneself can be regarded as suspicious.

“Unperson”

An unperson is someone who has been “vaporized” — not only killed by the state, but erased from existence. Such a person would be written out of existing books, photographs and articles so that no trace of his existence could be found in the historical record. The idea is that such a person would, according to the principles of doublethink, be forgotten completely (for it would be impossible to provide evidence of his existence), even by close friends and family. Mentioning his name, or even speaking of his past existence, is thoughtcrime; the concept that the person may have existed at one time and has disappeared cannot be expressed in Newspeak. “Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death.” —Orwell, 1984