Monday, February 07, 2005

No Doublespeak for Chocolate

I found a rather interesting article today posted by a columnist who has pledged to watching the language used in current events for evidence doublespeak or manipulation of words to assert politically motivated agendas.

Interestingly enough, George Orwell did not coin the term Doublespeak. It was created most likely in Orwellian fashion to describe a language deliberately constructed to disguise its actual meaning, usually from governmental, military, or corporate institutions.

I recently re-read the classic 1984 and discovered how grateful it made me feel to have been born in an era and country where thought is relatively (and hopefully will continue to be) free. In the novel, Orwell's description of the scarcity of everyday items we take for granted has always left an indelible impression on me. Chocolate, coffee, sugar... razors. I am not a big fan of chocolate myself, but I found myself stopping in the midst of reading the book to make a cup of hot cocoa from cocoa powder, sugar and hot milk. I didn't even bother to shake some cinnamon into the concoction as I usually do, as I wanted to enjoy the pure flavor of the chocolate difused in the creamy texture of warm whole milk.

Even before he had taken it he knew by the smell that it was very unusual chocolate. It was dark and shiny, and was wrapped in silver paper. Chocolate normally was dullbrown crumbly stuff that tasted, as nearly as one could describe it, like the smoke of a rubbish fire. But at some time or another he had tasted chocolate like the piece she had given him. The first whiff of its scent had stirred up some memory which he could not pin down, but which was powerful and troubling.

-George Orwell, 1984


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