Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Politics and the English Language, redux1

From the ideas dept, except I actually care about this one, and it isn't stupid. Like Christopher Hitchens, Noam Chomsky and all the best people, I am "a great admirer of George Orwell". Nine times out of ten, of course, when people tell you that they admire Orwell, what they mean is two things;
  1. they think they've found a way of twisting something he wrote so that it supports their own political views, and
  2. they're proud of the fact that they're the worst kind of pompous, annoying pedantic wanker about "Correct English Usage".
That's exactly how it is with me, anyway. I know just enough about Orwell to patronise American high school students on the Internet for only having read "1984", and have no plans to learn any more.

So anyway, where was I ... oh yeh, I'm a great admirer of George Orwell, and I think that if he were alive today, he would have some pretty trenchant views on the situation in the Middle East, and that, by chance, those views would coincide with my own. Christ, Hitchens makes this look so much more seamless when he does it...

Anyway, I'm a great admirer of George Orwell, and because of this, I really am in despair over the fact that, in more or less exactly the way he described in "Politics and the English Language", the battle of words with regard to the political future of the territory located around 31 30 N, 34 45 E has been so violent that ... well, that more or less the only way to refer to the geographical territory without marking yourself out as favouring one side or the other is by latitude and longitude. But I'm not here to fight that battle, or even to start discussing the massive misuses of language and the plethora of code-words on both sides. I'm here to make one particular suggestion to my own side; non-Israeli, Gentile, left-wing critics of the government of the State of Israel:

Let's just stop using the words "Israeli" and "Zionist" and replace them with "Likudist".

The battle over "it's possible to criticise Israelis without being anti-Semitic" and the battle over "not all Jews are Zionists, you know", has been either lost, or ground out to a bloody standstill, and the territory isn't worth fighting over. "Likudist" has the advantage of a more precise, laser-like focus on Ariel Sharon and his gang, and it isn't easily confused with "all citizens of the State of Israel" and thence on to "The Jews". It might not be strictly accurate in that I don't know which of the policies of the Israelis are specifically identified with Likud, but my guess is that anyone well-informed enough to be able to quibble about that will also be perfectly well aware of the reason why you can't use "Zionist" and "Israeli" in contexts where it would be natural to do so. At least this way it might be possible to gain some respite from what appear to me to be a lot of entirely disingenuous accusations of anti-Semitism, and perhaps to slightly retard the hellward progess of the handbasket carrying the English language.

Anyway, it's just an idea. Give it a try if you think it might make sense. In related news, isn't the Dalai Lama a bastard? He's always going on and on about the bloody Chinese in Tibet. Why does he single them out as being so terrible when there are things just as bad going on in Israel? Bloody Sinophobe.

1What the hell does "redux" mean, anyway? I just picked it up because they use it all the time on "" and I thought it looked cool. I don't think I've ever seen it anywhere else.
0 comments this item posted by the management 10/03/2002 05:06:00 AM

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Bitch : Lab
Aaronovitch Watch
Brad Delong
The Robert Vienneau blog

Political and philosophical heroes

Subcomandante Marcos
Will Rogers
Boris Vian
The English Svejk

RSS Feed:
This seems to matter to a lot of people

If you liked this "Daniel Davies" website, you might be interested in

"Danux", the web developer
The martial artist (and fan of extremely annoying Flash intros) from Blackburn
The Welsh political journalist
A Scouse computer programmer who collects Soviet cameras
"Danimal", the heavy metal drummer
Canada's finest recorder of radio jingles
More of the same, at the Guardian
A tailor's in Lampeter where Jimmy Carter once bought a hat
An advertising man who has written a novel about dogging (I think we sometimes get each other's email)
An award-winning facilities manager in Dubai
The son of the guitarist from the Kinks Update: he is apparently "balls-out motherfucking shit-dicked exxxstatic" to be included on a Kerrang magazine giveaway CD of Iron Maiden covers, which is nice.
"Fritz Gretel" from the Ramones film "Rock 'n' Roll High School"
The former presenter of the leading politics talk radio show on the Isle of Man, now a business change manager in the Manx government secretary's office
An aquarium curator in Sussex who keeps on scoring home runs like this (this is the first stable link I've found, but he is constantly kicking ass in acquarial terms)

If you didn't like this "Daniel Davies" website, then don't give up on the Daniel Davies industry completely!

An American "Christian Political Analyst" who has the same name as me
A student at Patrick Henry College
these two might be the same guy ...
"Scatter", the deceased Liberian gangster
A naked man stuck in a chimney in Wigan
A thug in Barrow

This blog has been going downhill since ...

August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
November 2003
December 2003
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
December 2012
February 2013
April 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
March 2014
April 2014
August 2014
October 2015
March 2023