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Aug 23 2023

Today’s Deletion From the Newspeak Dictionary

Enthuses government apparatchik Syme in George Orwell’s 1984:

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. … Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime 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 Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.”

Perfecting the language will require eradicating most words. That’s why deletions from the Newspeak Dictionary have been coming at us in a blizzard.

Today’s deletion is the word “tribal”:

The world’s most popular card game is having a bit of a language problem.

“Magic: The Gathering” recently announced it was retiring the word “tribal” from the game’s vocabulary over concerns that the term was racist. All cards printed in the future will have the word removed, and old cards will receive errata to guarantee no one’s feelings are hurt. …

Criticisms of the term “tribal” have cropped up in recent months, as activists claim the word exclusively belongs to Native Americans, and that anyone else using it is engaged in oppression.

Here I was thinking that “tribal” was an English word. But then, I used to think the same about “chief.”

Due to potentially offensive references to tribes throughout, an erratum will also need to be issued for the Bible.

No matter how foolish the justification for deletions, it is very important to stay abreast of them, because accidentally committing thoughtcrime by using a deleted word is a cancelable offense.

Eventually, the entire permissible vocabulary will consist of a handful of slogans: “Black lives matter!” “Love is love!” “Trans rights are human rights!” et cetera.

At that point, language will have ceased to convey any meaning, so in the interest of brevity, the slogans will be replaced with inarticulate grunting.

On a tip from ABC of the ANC.


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One Response to “Today’s Deletion From the Newspeak Dictionary”

  1. […] our language is implemented progressively. Banning all words and demanding that we communicate by grunting like animals would dramatically reduce thoughtcrime, but could spark resistance if imposed all at once. Even […]


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