Orwellian Language

Terms, ideas, and concepts from and inspired by 1984.

Newspeak – The fictional language designed to restrict the words, and hence the thoughts, of the citizens of Oceania. Eliminates alternate or implied meanings of terms in such a way that only direct, literal meaning persists.

doublethink – The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. A sort of voluntary mind control.

prole – A lower class citizen or a member of the working class. A member of the proletariat, especially one viewed as a subhuman or treated as such.

thought police – A group that aims to control what other people think.

thoughtcrime – A crime committed by having unorthodox or unofficial thoughts. Political resistance or even indifference which may be evidenced by subconscious activity and body language as easily as by voice and action.

Big Brother – A disparaging name for government surveillance considered to be too intrusive. Any omnipresent figurehead representing oppressive control.

historical revisionism – The systematic alteration of historical facts to forge a past more favorable to the reputation or motives of a particular group.

Ingsoc – The fictional “English Socialism” ideology of Oceania, also referred to as oligarchical collectivism. Makes provisions for historical revision, perpetual war, and stark class division in the form of the Inner Party, the Outer Party, and the Proles.

telescreen – A type of two-way television which is used for surveillance as well as the distribution of propaganda. Instills fear by the implication of constant surveillance, while not necessarily having to be monitored at all times.

reality control – A method of oppression of thought in which all outside stimuli are coordinated to suggest a false world is true.

doublespeak – Language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Could be interpreted as euphemisms or innuendo, but is ultimately used to both state and veil the truth.



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