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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread May 25th, 2012, 11:18 pm
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Default Politics and the English Language

hi,

George Orwell: Politics and the English Language

Quote:
Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it.
in this sentence, what is the traditional meaning of the hammer and the anvil? I could not find it in dictionaries. I do not understand what Orwell means.

Quote:
The range of verbs is further cut down by means of the -ize and de- formations
in the essay, Orwell uses by means of several times, but can't it be replaced by by simply? May I know what you think?
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Unread May 26th, 2012, 03:47 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Politics and the English Language

1. This is based on a quote from Goethe : "One must be either the anvil or the hammer" - ie either the passive person who gets what is given, or the person who takes action and controls their own destiny. So the implication is that it's good to be the "hammer" and bad to be the "anvil". However, as Orwell points out, the metaphor is inaccurate - in real life it's the anvil which breaks the hammer, not vice versa.

2. Yes, "by means of" could just be replaced by "by".
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread May 28th, 2012, 05:45 pm
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Default Re: Politics and the English Language

very clear

many thanks.
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Unread Jun 2nd, 2012, 04:18 am
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Default Re: Politics and the English Language

thanks.
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