One of the most alarming aspects of George Orwell’s 1984 is the way the totalitarian government controls people’s thoughts by controlling language. If the Ingsoc regime shared our current rulers’ bizarre sexual agenda, it would impose something like this:
In Washington state, dairymen, freshmen and even penmanship could soon be things of the past.
Over the past six years, state officials have engaged in the onerous task of changing the language used in the state’s copious laws, including thousands of words and phrases, many written more than a century ago when the idea of women working on police forces or on fishing boats wasn’t a consideration.
As has been said about living under Soviet communism, the future is certain; it’s the past that keeps changing.
So while the state has already welcomed “firefighters,” “clergy” and “police officers” into its lexicon, “ombuds” (in place of ombudsman) and “security guards” (previously “watchmen,”) appear to be next, along with “dairy farmers,” “first-year students” and “handwriting.”
“Some people would say ‘oh, it’s not a big thing, do you really have to go through the process of changing the language,'” said Seattle Councilmember Sally Clark who was one of the catalysts for the change. “But language matters.”
That it does. It is an area that should be left completely free of government coercion, so that it can evolve naturally rather than be used as a tool of social engineering.
If bureaucrats can’t find a more constructive way to spend their time, then we don’t need so many of them.
On tips from Muddypaw and A. Levy.