Modern English


Modern English Essay, Research Paper

English is a language that is constantly evolving and changing with the times. According

to George Orwell, this evolution of the English language is full of bad habits which are spread by

imitation and which are leading to the general collapse of English. This bad English is caused by

various mental vices which lead to bad writing that is vague that and lacks precision. These mental

vices include the use of dying metaphors, pretentious diction, and meaningless words. The

combination of these mental vices give Modern English a certain staleness of imagery and lack of


While a good metaphor assists an author by evoking a visual image in the reader,

?dying?metaphors that are too commonly used can lose their vividness. For example, in an article

for the Ottawa Citizen, Dan Leeth described the landscape of the Grand Canyon as vast

emptiness?, a metaphor that has lost it?s effect on the reader due to the fact that it is used too

frequently in Modern English. Another way that a metaphor can lose it?s effect on the reader is

when it is manipulated by the author and twisted out of context. For example, in another article,

Randall Denley, speaks of the unions and their ?kangaroo courts?, a metaphor that is commonly

used without any knowledge of it?s meaning. In another article, metaphors like ?His voice

thunders…? and ?…taken the theater scene by storm? are too frequently used just because the

author lacks the imagination to make one up for himself, a common problem in Modern English.

The use of dying metaphors could be avoided if writers would just take the time and trouble to

make up a new metaphor for themselves.

The use of pretentious diction is probably the most prevalent mental vice used in writings

today. Author feel the need to dress up simple statements with unnecessary words to make their

sentences appear more intelligent. ? The deserted house of worship now serves as a memorial to

futile efforts.? The author of this work used pretentious words such a ?futile? in an attempt to

dress up his sentence, but end up increasing the vagueness of his work. Another example of

pretentious diction is when large, useless words are used in sentences where it would be

advantageous to use shorter more direct ones. ?Collectively, unions are outmoded organizations,

more coercive and irrational than the corporate bosses they allegedly protect workers from.?

Some writers even string series of these obscure words together to make their sentences appear

more profound. This fact is illustrated a sentence written by Jamie Portman that contained words

like ?deft direction? and ?performers cavort?. Instead of using these words, the authors could use

words that are simpler to decrease the ambiguity of their work.

The use of meaningless words is another large problem with Modern English. Authors will

often string words together in long passages that are completely lacking in meaning. Instead of

giving concrete examples, a writer will just string together a bunch of words that are basically

pointless like in this paragraph:

?The route to the rim slices through an open valley

that intrigues with starkness, yielding no hint that

a chasm bisects the land beyond. Dust devils dart

and twist, and parched grasses huddle in isolated


Authors using Modern English constantly add meaningless words to sentences that are

unnecessary to try and give the sentence a feeling of symmetry. ? The show does not lampoon

aspects of the pot culture; more important, in its own skewed fashion, it is a rallying cry against

campaigns of lies and misrepresentation by people of power and influence.? Sentences liek this are

now so commonly used in English that the reader almost expects to see them and doesnt really

pay attention to what the paragraph is actually saying.

The evolution of Modern English has brought along many bad habits and mental vices that

are constantly being passed from author to author. These very habits are what is keeping authors

from thinking clearly and expressing their thoughts in a direct way. The combination of dead

metaphors, pretentious diction, and the use of meaningless words in writing has led to a certain

vagueness in writing and to the collapse of English language.

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