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[…] beautifully done, and a wonderful piece of reproduction ephemera. Like the 1980s facsimile edition of Orwell’s 1984, this is a book to bring out after dinner, when everybody’s neck-deep in grappa. ‘Oh! […]
The next day, Julia surreptitiously hands Winston a note confessing her love for him. Winston and Julia begin an affair after Winston realizes she shares his loathing of the Party, first meeting in the country, and eventually in a rented room at the top of the antiques shop where Winston purchased the diary, which is owned by the seemingly kindly Mr. Charrington. They believe that the shop is safe, as the room has no telescreen. During his affair with Julia, Winston remembers the death of his family; during the civil war of the 1950s, Winston stole rationed chocolate from his malnourished infant sister and his mother, and would return home to discover that they had disappeared. He also recounts his terse relationship with his ex-wife Katharine, whom he was forced to have sex with and despised to such an extent that he considered pushing her off a cliff during a nature walk. Winston also interacts with his colleague Syme, who is writing a dictionary for a revised version of the English language called Newspeak . After Syme insightfully reveals that the true purpose of Newspeak is to reduce the capacity of human thought, Winston speculates that he will be vaporized. He is later proven correct when Syme disappears without a trace, and no one acknowledges his absence.
To begin with it has nothing to do with archaism, with the salvaging of obsolete words and turns of speech, or with the setting up of a ‘standard English’ which must never be departed from. On the contrary, it is especially concerned with the scrapping of every word or idiom which has outworn its usefulness. It has nothing to do with correct grammar and syntax, which are of no importance so long as one makes one's meaning clear, or with the avoidance of Americanisms, or with having what is called a ‘good prose style’. On the other hand, it is not concerned with fake simplicity and the attempt to make written English colloquial. Nor does it even imply in every case preferring the Saxon word to the Latin one, though it does imply using the fewest and shortest words that will cover one's meaning. What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around. In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is surrender to them. When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualising you probably hunt about until you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning. Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one's meaning as clear as one can through pictures and sensations. Afterward one can choose — not simply accept — the phrases that will best cover the meaning, and then switch round and decide what impressions one's words are likely to make on another person. This last effort of the mind cuts out all stale or mixed images, all prefabricated phrases, needless repetitions, and humbug and vagueness generally. But one can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails. I think the following rules will cover most cases:
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