Our language describes two branches of reality: our inner reality, and outer reality. Inner reality is the simplest to us because it is the most intimate; our feelings, experiences, memories and habits are all rolled into this branch of reality. Unfortunately this is the branch of reality--though vivid and direct--is difficult, if not impossible at times, to convey to the second branch of reality, which is much simpler to convey using our language due to the concrete cues and myriad points of reference. Since our inner lives have no point of reference with other people's, it's difficult to use language to truly convey the experience and the meaning which are inevitably enveloped within our language. It's not impossible, but it's more of a hardware problem than a software problem. Ultimately, if we want to change the hardware, some of the software needs to adapt as well, to be more suited to convey language universally. This universality is--for Orwell--found in new words.
One of the problems with moving forward is that between our two minds--conscious and subconscious--our conscious is pretentious. It acts like it has more clout because it has more stage-time, but the truth of the matter is that without the set designers, electrical and sound specialists, and script writers, there is no show. Without the underlying, ambient mind, the conscious mind is simply a deliberate intellect channeled through a larynx, or whatever means of communication. When you communicate and take in information, is doesn't just kick around your intellect. It's absorbed in your subconscious, manifests in your dreams, and builds your unique, distinctive perspective. Page 261: "In a way this un-verbal part of your mind is even the most important part, for it is the source of nearly all motives. All likes and dislikes, all aesthetic feelings, all notions of right and wrong (aesthetic and moral considerations are in any case inextricable) spring from feelings which are generally admitted to be subtler than words." Subtler than words. This is a troubling statement, but not because I think it's false. It's troubling because of how starkly true it is. The vernacular is designed to describe the outer branch of reality, leaving the subtleties of our inner world without an effective canon of conveyance. We should be in desperate want of this canon, because as Orwell points out, our inner reality gestates our motives.
I'm not going to say writers of literature are all acutely aware of this, though I do think each serious writer of literature responds to this in some form. Orwell states that "coldly intellectual" writing conveys words' primary meaning as well as an anecdote describes a story. Page 262: "He gets his effects if at all by using words in a tricky roundabout way, relying on their cadences and so forth, as in speech he would rely upon tone and gesture." I find this problematic because many people manipulate their tone and gesture when speaking to emotionally persuade their audience because their argument or statement is weak in merit, rather than reflective of a weakness in the tools of conveyance. Orwell wants someone to create a different way, because "the art of writing is in fact largely the perversion of words, and I would even say that the less obvious this perversion is, the more thoroughly it has been done. For a writer who seems to twist words out of their meanings, is really, if one looks closely, making a desperate attempt to use them straightforwardly." so we have a human problem here as well, with audiences not bringing their share of intellect to the table, which forces--according to Orwell--the writer to do gymnastics to convey meaning. I'm not sure I agree, but he may be talking about nuances in a way I'm not familiar with, so it may be a lack on my part.
All this boils down to conveying intention. Clearly he desires a clearer way to communicate our intentions, finding faults in the hardware of our language. It's a close to a direct philosophical issue I've read from him so far. Do our words represent our meaning? Can they? I think they can, but that's not a question he asked because he simply put it on the doorstep of language, rather than objective philosophical tools, and our human nature. Personally I think he treaded into murky waters because he's trying to solve a philosophical question from a novelist's perspective. Yes, creating new words may help, but I don't think that's this issue's resolve. It's much more behavioral than that, but that doesn't mean it's subjective, either. We can use our language to represent our meaning, but since our emotions are ours alone, there's no way to guarantee our audience will experience the meaning like us. Is that even relevant, though? Language-play allows our audience--and us as the audience of others--to understand the meaning through the faculty of language. I'm not so sure Orwell's eye has isolated the core issue that he wants to isolate; emotions, intentionality, language, meaning? Intentionality is communicable and demonstrable, it simply takes clear, concise language. Emotionality is ethereal, therefore irrelevant when dealing with meaning because it applies to individual experience that we can't control or understand.
Orwell's solution literally hits home. He says that families compensate for this weakness by creating terms unique to their family unit, in which involves a meaning everyone acutely knows. Page 266: "The method of inventing words, therefore, is the method of analogy based on unmistakable common knowledge; one must have standards that can be referred to without any chance of misunderstanding, as one can refer to a physical thing like the smell of verbana." Granted, humans have uniquely different experiences for the simple reason that no one shares their physical point of view; such is evidenced by twins studies. However, don't humans have a finite set of compulsions and drives? Survival, sex, fight or flight, language... It's not like we operate on completely different paradigms here, we just bring with us unique subjectivities which we often hold out in front of us as qualifiers for individuality simply because they're unique to us. Problem with that thinking is that we posit that we're individuals without having an objective dialogue with ourselves that may prove or disprove it. So yes, families have a knack at communicating with new words, however it's asinine to suggest we should use that same common-knowledge paradigm to develop new words in the language. That's actually what's happening in modern America with 'words' like "LOL" entering the dictionary. What meaning does it have? To Orwell, it has tremendously effective meaning because it's common knowledge that it means "laugh out loud," tonally defined by laxity and indifference. When subjective micro-language devices are stretched to the macro level, they are a flash in the pan. Language becomes trendy, therefore useless within a short period of time. Again, maybe I'm misinterpreting him, but I think we may be better off approaching language from a perspective of "common capacity" rather than "common knowledge," because it objectifies the paradigm.
Orwell does indeed want to objectify thought and intention, as said on page 267: "What is needed is to show a meaning in some unmistakeable form, and then, when various people have identified it in their own minds and recognized it as worth naming, to give it a name. The question is simply of finding a way in which one can give thought an objective existence." However, using cinema and other overly concrete cues he endorses as the poster-child to clear communication and conveyance is missing the meaning boat because knowledge and meaning are abstract, and although can in part be communicated concretely, the essence is ultimately abstract, and thus treated with extreme care. If we move outward and simply create new words based on common experience, we misappropriate our human intellect, which operates via language, not a social network of common tongues.
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