#Newspeak #2013

It’s called a #hashtag.  First, an introduction to newspeak, for the kids who aren’t quite sure how they feel about reading and books, since there’s Youtube and kindle and all  (source link in the title):


Newspeak was the official language of Oceania and had been devised to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism. In the year 1984 there was not as yet anyone who used Newspeak as his sole means of communication, either in speech or writing. The leading articles in the Times were written in it, but this was a tour de force which could only be carried out by a specialist. It was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak (or Standard English, as we should call it) by about the year 2050. Meanwhile it gained ground steadily, all Party members tending to use Newspeak words and grammatical constructions more and more in their everyday speech.

The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc — should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever. To give a single example. The word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as ‘This dog is free from lice’ or ‘This field is free from weeds’. It could not be used in its old sense of ‘politically free’ or ‘intellectually free’ since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless. Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispensed with was allowed to survive. Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum. Newspeak was founded on the English language as we now know it, though many Newspeak sentences, even when not containing newly-created words, would be barely intelligible to an English-speaker of our own day.

Patient zero was Twitter.

the gibberish seems confined to naked whoring for followers.  Usually a #hashtag occurs in the context of a #thought or a #sentence

then the infection spread to  Instagram.

mattlowerphoto @drra sliding his #e46 #bmw #m3 #drifting #donuts#bimmer #bimmerschwag #cone #skidpad #instapic #instacool#instagood #instalike #instamood #instadaily #instaphoto #instanation#instagramers #instagramhub

What?  Without the picture, WTF entirely?

Now, faceboot Facebook put the contagion in the water.  Where will this go?  To the insane look at me gibberish of instagram, spread eagling for recognition like a Thesaurus on meth?  Or to the more sane Twitter levels of mostly #non-gibberish?  Probably the answer will come in the form of whether there is #money to be made (or at least trackable traffic).

Just remember, when communication evolves to where emails and blogs read more like #infinite #synonyms and #lists of #every #Discrete #element of the #photo #pic #picture #image  or #thought #muse #pandering, that #WeWereWarned.  It may not be the destruction of language by destroying the words themselves (Newspeak), but destroying meaningful conversation and storytelling by obviating selective  word choice has the same end result:  WTF are you trying to say?  ##


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