Most people agree that the English language is collapsing. Any attempt to save the old-fashioned language is for sentimental reasons. It’s believed that language naturally grows and we don’t shape it overtime.
The decline of a language is due to economic and political reasons, not just from an individual writer. English becomes ugly and wrong because of our foolish thoughts, but the ugliness of the language makes it easier to have foolish thoughts. Modern written English has many bad habits that can change if effort is put in, which will lead to clear thinking.
A dying metaphor is one that is overused and has lost its meaning. For example: toe the line, hotbed, achilles’ heel. Most of these are used without an understanding of their meaning, with a mix of incompatible metaphors. Some have been taken out of context without the writer realising. For example, toe of the line can be written tow of the line.
Verbal false limbs inflate the word making it longer than it should be. For example, serve the purpose of, take effect. Instead of being a single word, a verb becomes a phrase. The passive voice is used more than the active, and noun constructions are used instead of gerunds (by examination of instead of by examining). Simple conjunctions are replaced with phrases like “in view of”, “the fact that” and the ends of sentences are saved by anticlimax by big commonplaces like “deserving of serious consideration”.
Pretentious diction – words like element, virtual, basic are used to give objectivity to biased judgements. Adjectives like historic, unforgettable, are used to glorify the dishonourable process of international politics. words like cul de sac are used to portray elegance. It is easier to fabricate words like impermissible and extramarital than to think the English words that will cover ones meaning. This causes more vagueness.
I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.
Modern writing consists in combining long strips of words, already done by another, and presenting the words inaccurately. Using ready-made phrases, the phrases sound pleasant.
A metaphor is meant to bring a visual image. When these images clash, like “the fascist octopus has swung is swan song” the writer is not really thinking.
Currently, it is true that political writing is bad writing. When watching a tired hack repeat the same phrases – “bestial, atrocities” it feels like watching a dummy speak. Speaking like this favours political conformity.
Right now, it is impossible to ‘keep out of politics’. All issues are political issues, and politics is hatred and lies. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.
If thought corrupts language, language can corrupt thought. A bad use can spread by imitation even to those who should know better.
The fall of our language can be stopped. Silly words and expressions like ” explore every avenue” were discarded by the jeers of a few journalists. If people tried, we could reduce the amount of latin and greek in a sentence, and take our foreign phrases. The defence of the English language implies more than this, and it is best to say what it does not imply.
It has nothing to do with archaism, nor with making English too simple, but rather to let the meaning choose the word. Do not surrender to words. Thinking of a concrete object and describing, you tend to look for the best words to fit it. It is better to get one’s meaning as clear as possible through pictures and sensations.