Monday, September 29, 2008


Orwell's invented language for the world of 1984 has crept into our conversational English in many ways. We hardly notice how often we are plagiarizing Orwell. One item from a couple of years ago rang a bell for me, and I didn't know why until now: "The internet is a series of tubes," the famously stupid phrase spoken by Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, is remarkably like a definition from this NewSpeak dictionary:

"memory hole - A system of pipes, similar to pneumatic tubes, which were used to destroy documents. A document stuffed in the memory hole would be conveniently whisked away to the furnaces below - quickly & easily wiped from history."

Which is also pretty near to our shared visualization of the Richard Cheney Vice Presidential Archive.


Post a Comment

<< Home