Contents

Trans-substantial Catholics

Watch this. What are the priests doing? Catholic Litmus Test If you are Catholic, then I hope for the sake of your soul you said he is welcoming Christ bodily into the world. If you didn’t you aren’t looking too […]


Poor Hanno

According to the pop-psychologist-pseudo-science writer Malcolm Gladwell in his magnum lite-opus, the Tipping Point we as a species need risk takers. Individuals who are willing to put it all on the line in pursuit of a goal will, if they […]


Intelligence and Happiness?

A while ago, the Inquisition pondered the nature of intelligence, and whether a certain outlook or attendant mental abilities are guides to or from happiness. This has been obliquely in the news of late…


Buried by the Sea

Its odd. Most graveyards in Connemara appear to be near water, if not actually right on the coast. Why? West Galway, or Connemara, has a lot of unused space. Admittedly, much of the land Connemara is industrially and agriculturally useless, […]


Cycling Two Abreast

Cycling two abreast in Ireland is legal, a protected practice, and it is safer.


Indoors / Outdoors (Defuse)

A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland


Nürnburg’s Extra Bombs

Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.


Law & Morality

The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.


Foy – The Bodiless Head

A bodiless head is revered as being Saint Foy, who died a cruel death.


Coffee Haters

There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.


False Flags 2

False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.


Plastic 55 Years Ago

55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.


Cesare Borgia’s Party

The Pope, his son and fifty prostitutes – Cesare Borgia’s party.


Marriage – A Potted History

Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…


Blinking Morse

The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.


Synecdoche

Synecdoche is a powerful, expressive linguistic device


The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking

Controlling Language

Double speak – ignorance is strength.

Ignorance is strength
“an ancient repressive artifice, known to all churches, the typical vice of our political class…”

In truth, language is thought. Restrict one to suppress the other.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell’s hero, Winston Smith, worked as a clerk in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth. Truth, it soon becomes apparent, means untruth. The ministry is in charge of rewriting language, subverting and inverting its very meaning.

Controlling the means of expression is the means of controlling the populace, restricting their freedom, and finally controlling thought itself.

Primo Levi addressed the issue of a proscriptive and contrived use of language as a means of creating a purposeful miscomprehension. He describes using language to confuse people while upholding the pretense of offering information.

Levi described this linguistic form as, “an ancient repressive artifice, known to all churches, the typical vice of our political class, the foundation of all colonial empires.”

He described how powerful institutions use their language to do others down, to suppress dissent. Their language is too advanced and makes those ill-equipped to fully grasp it feel inferior. They cannot express their true needs.

In The Adventure of English, Melvyn Bragg describes another illuminating episode where language is a means of control. After the Normans took England, the language of the aristocracy was French. Suddenly words began to be used, and would filter down to the land’s vernacular, to describe things that were unobtainable for the commoners. These were words of luxury items, foods in particular, words of money, words of class and culture. They are words of law and repression.

Passport, fruit, fur, art, melody, arrest, bail, crime, debt are among the words imported by the new ruling class. The english tended the calves which produced the veal for their lords. Language gave the feudal system descriptive form.

Bibliography
Gobbledygook, Don Watson, Atlantic Books, 2003
The Adventure of English, Melvyn Bragg, Hodder & Stoughton, 2003
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, Penguin, 1972 edition

This article was posted by on Monday, February 27th, 2012 at 16:27.
It is archived in Culture and tagged , , , , .

Comments are closed.


Rummage Through Inquisition's Archives

The Index