NARRATIVE DISPLACEMENT AND THE CORRUPTION OF LANGUAGE

 

The history of the corruption of language is much longer than postmodern narrative displacement. The Gnostics were perhaps the first to linguistically articulate an attack on language as vehicle for true truth. The Visigoths (12th century) were adamant in their rejection of language, truth and logic. 19th and 20th century Hermeneutical relativism set forth especially by W. Dilthey. Ruth Benedict proposed cultural relativism in her anthropological works. Historical relativism is expressed in the Historicism of the 19th century. Logical Epistemological Relativism developed between the works of Hamann, Herder contra Kant. Linguistic Relativism, esp. Herder, Humboldt, Whorf and Sapir was the development in the analytic tradition. The revolt against Linguistic Relativism is most striking in the work of Pike, Nida and Chomski. These prophets attacked the empirical foundations of language acquisition. The essay is much too brief to encounter the enormous literature produced in this international debate over “Innate Ideas” and Empirical Foundations of language acquisition in children and cultures. The corruption of language as addressed encounter with the corrupt in the works of George Orwell and C.S. Lewis. The Christian stake in the nature of Language, Truth and Logic in our post modern culture should be clear where Revisionist History dominates much post modern history. Their literature fused with Anti Science in Multicultural Relativism in media and Outcome Based Education. Political Correctness has reached its cultural zenith in the last decade of the 20th century.

 

The developments from Linguistic Analysis and Logical Positivism (also Existentialism and Phenomenological relativism) based in Russell and Whitehead’s Principia turned into reduction of language to logic to mathematics. Goedel’s Theorem was the death knell to autonomous mathematics. The developments in science since Einstein brought the end to Scientism and Positivism, which claimed that the scientific method could yield true truth about new knowledge.

The following brief survey will expose the influences of the following:

 

(1) Goedel’s Theorem

(2) Linguistic Analysis

(3) Logical Positivism

(4) Whorf’s Hypothesis

(5) Sapir’s Theory

(6) Modern/Post Modern corruption of language

 

Narrative Displacement of The Corruption of Language

 

The extreme hypothesis of linguistic relativity has been argued against as invalid: (1) Because it is based on the presupposition that thought and language are identical, which assumption precludes that language is the product of collective human thought; (2) Because it cannot be accepted unless one is willing to say we are in an egocentric quandary, unable to make assertions about reality because of doubting the validity of our own cognition. (3) Because if the cognitive categories of human beings were adequate to reality but only relative to the language of the group, we as a species would be extinct; and (4) Because anything except perhaps poetry, can be translated from one language into another, with more or less difficulty, depending on the languages and subjects involved. Since the extreme hypothesis can be so readily argued against on philosophical, not empirical grounds, why was the extreme view held so long? Humboldt, Sapir and Whorf all advocated the extreme position; only recently has the extreme view been seriously challenged. The extreme view was challenged by Whorf, et.al.

 

Perhaps a brief trek in narrative displacement can both describe and explain why the extreme relativity hypothesis was advocated in the first place and why its weaknesses have largely given way to Pike’s Tagmemics.

 

Various Aspects of linguistic relativity were set forth by several thinkers prior to the 18th century; see especially the Encyclopedia of Philosophy (vols. 3 and 4 (MacMillan Free Press, 1972) pp. 386-390; J.A. Fodor and J.J. Katz, eds., The Structure of Language (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1964); Paul Ziff, Semantic Analysis (Ithaca, NY, 1960); Leonard Linsky, ed., Semantics and The Philosophy of Language (Urbana, IL, 1952); my papers “Search for Meaning: Criterion of Meaning,” “Verification Principle,” “Falsibility Principle and Translatability,” “Problem in Empiricism.”

 

Aristotle’s metaphysical argument is redividus in 20th century Logical Atomism (eg. Bertrand Russel’s Principia and Leading Wittgenstein’s Language Game). The essence of this theory is to practice “Logically perfect language” (e.g. subject, predicate sentences, fact stating sentences, theory of types). Logic is the study of influence in reasoning. Since reasoning is carried on in language in order to analyze various kinds of inference. The validity or lack of the argument largely depends on the form of he statements in which the argument is formulated. Note the structure of the following pairs: (1) The President of the United States is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. (2) The President of the United States is elected every four years. President Clinton is President, therefore, the president is elected every four years. Number two is an invalid argument. These is a crucial difference in logical form between the first premise of the two arguments.

Epistemology becomes concerned with language at a number of points, especially prominent of which is the problem of a priori knowledge. We have a priori knowledge when we know something to be the case on some basis other than our experience. Knowledge of this sort is mathematics. The existence of this kind of knowledge has always been a problem for empiricists.

 

Since verbal discussion is the chief tool of the philosopher, philosophical complaints against language have taken many forms. Advocates of mystical intuition, notably Plotinus and Bergson, have considered language to be unsuitable for formulation of truth. Access to truth is intuitively felt experienced via language forms. The significance of this position for the Christian position should be self-evident! Language acquisition of children cannot be explained empirically. Is ordinary language suitable for philosophical purposes? The later Wittgenstein seems to have held that all or most of the problems of philosophy arise from the fact that philosophers have misused certain key terms such as “know,” “see,” “free,” and “reason.” Thus, they have become entangled in insolvable puzzles over whether we can know what other people are thinking or feeling whether we can ever really see physical objects. Note that we are on the way to post modern denial of access to “authorial intentionality.” (Rorty, Fish, Layotard, Quine, Bernstein, etc.; see esp. Kevin J. Vanhover, Is There A Meaning in This Text? (Zondervan, 1998), a brilliant critique of Fish.

 

Is ordinary language inadequate for philosophical purposes by reason of the vagueness, ambiguity, context dependence and inexplicitness? This group is expressed in the work of Leibnitz, Russell and Carnap. To these men mathematics is the only language where linguistic defects are overcome (see my paper, “Pike, Nida on Tagmemics”). These authors say that there is nothing in one language that is not sayable in any other. Both of these men worked in over 50 languages. Postmodern critics claim that the West derives from Aristotle, so Logic and Geometry are purely a Western construction. Peter Berger, et.al., claim that all reality is Socially Constructed (see my paper, “Social Construction of Reality”). Is it this job of Modern and Post Modern philosophies to do “Conceptual Analysis”? When conceptual analysis critics the concepts of causality, the very rationality of the discussion is at stake. Is language the whole of philosophy? What is the relationship of the philosophy of language to the theory of knowledge? What is the meaning of any word? Is there any difference between the statement, “I know” and “I believe?” The need for a functioning methodology for semantic investigation makes it inevitable that analytical philosophers turn their attention to problems of the philosophy of language.

 

Some semantic problems that are prominent are: (1) What is it for a linguistic expression to have a certain meaning? (2) Under what conditions do two or more linguistic expressions have the same meaning? (3) Under what conditions are we justified in saying that a word has two different senses in two different given contexts? (4) What are the conditions under which the meaning of an expression may be more or less vague? (5) What is the difference between a literal and a figurative use of a term? (6) What kind of meaning are these?; for e.g. Is there a difference between cognitive and emotive meaning? (7) What does it mean to “know?” (8) What is the relation between the structure of language and the structure of whatever it is used to talk about? (9) What are the varieties and interrelations of linguistic acts and uses of language? (10) What are the specific features of the language of religion, poetry, normal discourse, advertisement, misinformation, lying under oath, etc.? (11) What are the specific features of those kinds of expression, e.g. proper names and definite description (e.g. difference between description and explanation)?

 

From the 19th century discussion of the origin and historical development of language by such men as Herder and Humboldt are the “narrative” of the modern and postmodern disciplines of linguistics and the psychology of language, i.e., thinking about language. (See the articles in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy on “Language and Semantics; Analytical Synthetic Statements; Artificial and Natural Languages; Criterion Definitions; Emotive Meaning; Meaning; Metaphor; Nonsense Presupposing; Private Language; Signs and Symbols; Subject Predicate; Uniqueness; Verifiability Principle (note especially the attention to language in Plato’s Cratylus, Aristotle’s Categories; John Locke’s Essays Concerning Human Understanding, Book III; and George Berkeley’s Alciphron, Book VII; from the 18th century the works of Herder, Humboldt, Ernst Casirer, The Philosophy of Symbolic Form (New Haven, 1953; and Neo-Kantian influence in the work of W.M. Urban, Language and Reality (London, 1939) and S.K. Langer, Philosophy in A New Key (Cambridge, MA, 1942); Charles Morris, Signs, Language and Behaviour Representation of Peirces’ ideas of behaviorism movement in psychology. C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards, The Meaning of Meaning (London, 1923) special influence between referential and emotion meaning; Rudolf Carnap, Philosophy and Logical Syntax (London, 1765); The Logical Syntax of Language (Cambridge, MA, 1942); and W.V. Quine, Word and Object (NY, 1960); and for logical Atomism see classical formulation in Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico Philosophicus (NY, 1922); Bertrand Russell, Logic and Knowledge, ed. by R.C. Marsh (London, 1956); P. Alston, Philosophy of Language (Englewood Cliffs, NY, 1964); and for excellent survey, The Revolution in Philosophy (Ayer, Kneale, Paul, Pears, Strawson, Warnock and Wollheim (NY: St. Martins Press 1965; see my bibliography for hermeneutics and theories of logic and Narrative Displacement in Theories of Meaning.

 

Francis Bacon(1561-1626) foreshadowed Humboldt’s ideas that language of a people and their Weltbild (world picture) are correlated. Bacon is a forerunner of Herder in expressing the idea that language is an expression of that which is characteristic of a people. Bacon probably antedates Cassirer by attempting to isolate correlates between characteristics of language and other characteristics of culture. But no evidence is cited by Bacon, however, for the influence of language on the thought of an individual. John Locke (1632-1704) set forth the view that common language actually leads us astray. He explicitly says that it is “use” (common use) conclusive use. Locke is surely the earliest proponent of The Whorf, Korzybski’s hypothesis, which holds that how many people name situations influences their behaviour relative to the situation.

 

In fact, the entire Korzybskian General Semantics Movement is clearly stated in Locke (see Locke’s Essays, III, 10, 14-15; see also his Essay Concerning Hina Understanding, Book III, chp. 10, sec. 16; his Essays, II, 13 28, ibid. III, 10,22; see egs. Karl Hernz Weimann, “Vorstufen der Sprach philosophie Humboldt’s bei Bacon und Locke,” Zeitschrift fur deustsche Philosophie 84 (1965): 498-508). But Locke did not confuse langue and parole but rather insisted that the verbal habits or usages of a community can lead an individual member to mistake the verbal description for he reality or to actually mistake the name of something for the thing itself. Plato and Aristotle took similar positions on the relationship of language to thought. Francis Bacon first suggested a correlation between the characteristics of language and other characteristics of culture, a concept later expressed by Weisgerber and Cassirer (Robert L. Miller, “The Linguistic Relativity Principles and Humboldtian Ethnolinguistics -- An Historical Appraisal,” an unpublished dissertation, University of Michigan, 1963).

 

The empiricist view of the mind as tabula rosa influences the discussion of the rationalistic position on innate ideas. Locke’s theory leans heartily on language in the acquisition of ideas is mediated through words (ideas). For our brief trek the controversy between Locke and Leibnitz is not important. But their controversy represents one of the first between innate ideas and ideas as learned with the help of language. Locke’s “intuitive Knowledge” is very similar to “innate knowledge of Leibnitz. Hamann, Herder, Humboldt, Sapir and Whorf did consider thought and language to be identical. Perhaps their view was essential to combat Kant’s Rationalism.

 

Hamann (1730-1788) and Herder (1744-1803 versus Kant (1724-1804)

 

In this controversy it was widely held that Natural Language alone was adequate to reality in all of its subtlety and dynamism. Kant had almost completely neglected the role of language in the acquisition of knowledge is highly objectionable as the discussion intensifies. In Kant’s system many ideas were not acquired at all but were innate forms of intuition, regulative principles of reasoning, presupposed in all judgments that give us knowledge of phenomena. The Critique of Pure Reason is an inquiry into the nature of causality as a principle, and Kant’s conclusion was that causality is not an analytic proposition where the predicate is contained in the meaning of the subject. Hence it must be synthetic as are all facts. But facts are known a posteriori while causality is a priori, that is, we don’t learn that things are caused; we just know that they are Kant’s a posteriori symbolic principles and are called categories. Our concept of space is not learned through experience with particular species. Kant’s view contains essential components along with sense data, of all knowledge. All forms of linguistic relativity identifies language and thought! This problem remains of how man could learn language without possessing reason is circumvented by all forms of postmodern cultural and epistemological relativism (see Chomski’s criticism in his “Language Acquisition” and Nida and Pikes’s “Tagmemics”). For Kant, space and time are innate ideas. From Herder forward, language is offered as the teacher of these ideas. Each of the above narrative displacements were the foundation for the counter culture of the 60’s. The counter culture represented a generation who rejected the foundational cultural guidance that the home, church, community and government had previously provided. Because of the narrative displacement of each of the building blocks the cultural revolt of the 60’s became a reality and is now expressed as multiculturalism, the media, revisionist history, anti science, tolerance and political correctness.

 

Linguistic Relativity Versus A Priori Rationalism

 

The entire narrative displacement in linguistic theory is an effort to counter Kant’s rationalist doctrine of innate ideas, which assumes that all people are alike in certain ways, regardless of their language and nationality. If the thought of a nation is relative to the language the people speak, then cross-linguistic cultural communication is impossible. Such communication is possible, therefore there is something deeply wrong with linguistic/cultural relativism.

 

Linguistic relativity was originally proposed as an antidote to innate ideas posited by Kant. Sapir and Whorf took over their ideas from Herder and Humboldt. Sapir’s master’s degree was taken under Franz Boas, who first brought Humboldt to America (cf. Edward Sapir, “On Herder’s Ursprung der Sprache” Modern Philosophy 5 (1907): 109-142; Levi Strauss, et.al., Results of the conference of anthropologists and linguists (Indiana University publication in Anthropology and Linguistics memoir (Baltimore, 1953) p. 73). All that seems to remain in an explanation of learned ideas is the theory which posits an extra natural (supernational) source of language. It is apparent how significance this discussion is to the Christian world View. It is crucial to note the narrative displacement for Linguistic Relativism to Cultural Relativism and inclusive postmodern multicultural pluralism and their significance for the uniqueness claim of the Christ and scripture. No wonder post moderns “hold” that anyone who espouses True Truth is unaware of the narrative displacements of the past two cultures, at least (the world of Pike and Nida must be seen in the context of this narrative displacement in Linguistics, Language, Truth and Logic).

 

There is another parallel in the narratives of cultural relativity and linguistics relativity. This was a triumph of the relativistic thesis over the likewise notions of a transcendent moral norm and innate ideas. Modern and Post Modern behavioral scientism are no longer constraints to judge other cultures on their own mores, i.e., since cultural relativity has become a received paradigm among anthropologists the pendulum has begun to swing back and one of their main concerns is for finding cultural universals, values or customs common to all cultures. Linguists are also concerned with discovering Universals of Language (Kenneth Pike, “Dimensions of Grammatical Construction” Language 38 (1962): 221-224; Jerrold J. Katz and Paul M. Postal, An Integrated Theory of Linguistic Description (Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, 1964); Joseph H. Grieberg, ed., Universals of Language (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1963); see my bibliography on Language Theory and paper “Pike’s Tagmemics in Light of Kolhberg and Piaget’s Learning Theories”).

 

The next move is through the process of doubting the validity of our cognital powers by having considered them relative to our language, they are free from belief in a normative. Yet our postmodern search for universals is the modern version of innate ideas. Innate ideas and language universals can be defined as that which is common to all men merely by virtue of their being human.

 

“Thus it may well be that the general features of language structure reflects, not so much the course of one’s experience, but rather the general character of one’s capacity to acquire knowledge in the traditional sense, our innate ideas, and innate principles.” (Noam Chomski, Aspects, p. 59; see his critique of B.F. Skinner; Skinner is a major voice in the educational revolution (Goals 2000 and Outcome Based Education); see my papers, “Whoever Controls Education Controls Culture” and “Outcome Based Education: Fad, Fiction, Failure”)

 

The battle may have been won by the Linguistic Relativistics,  but the war was lost to the Rationalists. For a priori rationalism died in the mind of 20th century scepticism of our ability to know in “scepticism of the word.” (See esp. Wilbur Marshall Urban’s phrase in Language and Reality: The Philosophy of Language and the Principles of Symbolism (London: Allen and Unwin, 1939). But Rationalism is revived and innate ideas, now called linguistic universals, are now posited on empirical evidence. Yet, still universals cannot be proven from finite empirical, statistical data. If there are linguistic universals, it is not because of either Rationalism or Empiricism but the Judaeo/Christian creator of the universe.

 

With the brilliant work of Michael Behe, (Darwin’s Black Box) and the linguistic call for universals we perhaps have access to the greatest Christian apologetic for over 100 years. Behe’s thesis is that Genetic complexity did not derive from simple to complex evolutionary incremental development, but all living systems exist completely on the basis of complex genetic order. Perhaps we can constructively address the multicultural relativism of our post modern culture after all--when Darwin’s naturalistic evolution is applied to every category of reality, i.e., origin and development of language, logic number theory, etc. (See my essays analyzing the relativistic stances of post modern multiculturalism in “Revisionist History” “The Anti Science Movement” “The Social Construction of Reality”)

 

Guide to The Corruption of Language

 

Even educated people are often insensitive to language. The historian, Gertrude Himmelfarb, noted that the word “values” includes

 

“the assumption that all word ideas are subjective and relative, that they are mere customs and conventions, that they have a purely instrumental, utilitarian purpose, and they are peculiar to specific individuals and societies. . . One cannot say of virtues, as one can of values, that any one’s virtues are as good as anyone else, or that everyone has a right to his own virtues.” (The Demoralization of Society: From Victorian to Modern Values (Knopf, 1995, pp.11-12)

 

Our language directs how we understand the world around us and how we react to it and act upon it. Words have consequences, and this is why the corruption of language is such a danger to the common good. C.S. Lewis wrote in 1944, “When you have killed a word you have also, in so far as in you lay, blotted from the human mind the thing that the word originally stood for. Men do not long continue to think what they have forgotten how to say.” (“The Death of Words” in On Stories, ed. by Walter Hooper (Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich (Harvest Books, 1982)

 

George Orwell (1903-1950) and C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) were masters of modern English prose exquisitely sensitive to the misuse of language. Both wrote novels on this subject--Orwell’s Animal Farm (1945) and especially 1984 (1948), and Lewis’s That Hideous Strength (1945). Both Orwell and Lewis have fought the corruption of language, the attempts to use words to confuse and blind others, to make some actions possible either by making the necessary thoughts thinkable or by making clear thought impossible. Yet Lewis also knew that the problem, the danger, was not only or even mainly one of corrupted language but of corrupted souls. (Lewis ridicules Orwell in chapter 7 of Book IV of Mere Christianity) Orwell’s most famous short work on language is his essay “Politics and The English Language”, published in 1946. “The decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes,” he began, “but each makes the other worse.” . . . A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and he fails all the more completely because he drinks.”

 

Our language “becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thought.” Orwell’s hostility to Christianity is expressed by what he calls “orthodoxy” by which he meant irrationally following the party line, whatever party you belong to, “demands vague and inflated language and particularly the use of style and unrevealing metaphors.” Orthodoxy requires such a style because it does not want people to see clearly, for if they saw clearly, they might dissent Orwell’s affirmation that most speech and writing defends the indefensible. Orwell offers a rule which is of spiral interest in our post modern theological jargon. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Orwell’s proposals ultimately break down because recognition of good and evil were not grounded as any meta narrative, i.e., transcendent order. Because of this failure our multicultural relativism has fallen to the blade of Nietzche’s moral nihilism. They have a moral agenda with no ground for evaluating and or adjudicating alternative and/or contradictory moral assertion.

 

C.S. Lewis argued much the same thesis before Orwell’s essay appeared, most famously in The Abolition of Man (1943), That Hideous Strength (1945), God in The Dock (1970), “Before We Communicate”, “Christian Apologetics”, and “Cross Examination”, pp. 96-99; 254-57. The crucial difference in their arguments is that Orwell was a materialist and C.S. Lewis was a Christian. Lewis’s position is, of course, politically incorrect. His offensive claim is clearly affirmed. “Christianity claims to give an account of facts . . . to tell you what the real universe is like,” and if Christianity is true, “it is quite impossible that those who know this truth and those who don’t should be equally well equipped for leading a good life.” (“Man or Rabbit?” in God in The Dock, pp. 108-9.)

In The Abolition of Man he argued that the danger to our language comes not first from political and economic causes but from a philosophical error. The rejection of the Tao, rejected as much by artists, intellectuals and political leaders in England as the Nazis they were fighting. It is That Hideous Strength, the third novel in his space trilogy, that Lewis gave the matter his most thorough treatment. For a brilliant treatment of C.S. Lewis on language see Thomas Howard, C.S. Lewis: Man of Letters (Ignatius, 1987), pp. 159-206; and Doris Myers, C.S. Lewis in Context (Kent State, 1994), pp. 77-111).

 

In Lewis we repeatedly hear of distorting language by stealing people’s homes is hidden and defended by calling it the rectification of frontiers. Throughout Orwell and Lewis, the method is to force people to think certain thoughts by giving them the words to think them and by destroying the words in which they might think other thoughts, as Orwell describes in the appendix on “Newspeak” in 1984. Both Orwell and Lewis expose the power to manipulate a prejudice or desire and makes action upon it respectable by giving it a respectable name. The effective propagandist is a disciple of Screwtape.

Then there is the corruption of language of metaphor, of rejecting realities you dislike by treating them as metaphors for ideas of which you approve. John Wither, deputy to the director of the N.I.C.E. makes no sense. Wither does not speak nonsense but refuses to speak the truth needed. This is precisely what Clinton and his lawyers did in the Impeachment “trial” (it was more of a show than a trial). The exposing of the corruption of language is not enough, it is imperative to “see” correctly that we must be holy (I John 3.2,11) The empowering of language appears in the Chronicles of Narnia, The Dawn Treader, while in The Silver Chair Lewis showed the importance of accepting revelation even when it does not seem to work or does not seem clear. In Aslan’s country at the edge of the world, Jill receives the four signs she and Eustace are to follow: There the meaning of the signs seem obvious, but they prove not to be clear when she descends into Narnia; even had Eustace been with her to hear the signs he would not have easily recognized them in the aged king. The signs are confirmed only when Jill and Eustace follow them through difficulty and in danger of their lives, and find them to be trustworthy. They proved to be revelation because they led them to a world they would not have found or even known about otherwise, and salvic because only by trusting the last sign, to do whatever they are asked in the name of Aslan, do they escape the Witch and return home.

 

The Horse and His Boy illustrates three lessons about the vision of God: (1) Aslan’s actions for Shasta and Aravis’s good are not perceived as such before they know him. Not until Aslan has revealed himself do they understand. Before he reveals himself they simply fear. (2) Those who have not met Aslan think to explain away his reality. (3) Some people will refuse to accept Aslan even when they see him. Aslan offers some to be “un-donkeyed” in the same way Eustace was “un-dragoned.” The best understanding of the language of Heaven is best learned, not by reading text books and grammars but from the company of those who speak it as not even (a) The first step in training or vision of God is obedience; (b) We must accept the revelation and the terms in which that revelation has been given to us, particularly those images we tend to try to put into propositions (see Lewis’s Letters to Malcolm, pp. 51-56, 92-93, 96-99, and “Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism” pp. 164-66; (c) We ought to spend as much time as we can in the company of those who see not only holy people, but holy books or rather books in which holiness is conveyed; (d) We ought to enjoy such pleasures as God gives us. Merk is saved at the end of That Hideous Strength by the memory of Jane, and, not least, Jane’s body, and by enjoying the children’s book he had enjoyed as a child but had stopped reading because he thought it was childish (That Hideous Strength, pp. 51-56, 92-93, 96-99). “A hard heart is o infallible protection against a soft head” (The Abolition of Man p. 24) As. G. K. Chesterton said, “When a man ceases to believe in God, he does not believe in nothing, he believes in anything.”

Call to Holiness of Mind

Pilgrim’s Guide to The Corruption of Language

 

“To be the one kind of creature is heaven; that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power to be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness.” (Lewis, Mere Christianity (MacMillan, 1960, pp. 86-87) Language is best purified not by the writing techniques Orwell offered, as useful as they are, but by holiness. The orthodox say that a theologian is one who prays and one who prays is a theologian. (See the excellent article by David Mills, “To See Through A Glass Darkly; C.S. Lewis/George Orwell, and The Corruption of Language” (The Pilgrims Guide (Eerdmans, 1998, pp. 111-132).

 

 

James Strauss, Lincoln, IL 62656