The Power of Propaganda

1258 Words 6 Pages
Though it may come as a surprise, many of your opinions on matters originated by propaganda. Propaganda is a means to manipulate an audience in believing information they want their audience to believe. In an effort to bring about the awareness of propaganda, George Orwell in Politics and the English Language, Newman and Genevieve Birk in Selection, Slanting, and Charged Language, as well as D.W. Cross in Propaganda: How Not to Be Bamboozled, explain the various ways in which a targeted audience may succumb to language and logic manipulation. George Orwell was one of the most famous British writers of the twentieth century who wrote the best-selling books, 1984 and Animal Farm. Orwell believed that, “the way people use …show more content…
Using dressy and foreign words is unnecessary and, “the result…, is an increase in slovenliness and vagueness” (Orwell 238). Instead of using foreign terms, it is best to use every day English terms. The last guideline, using meaningless words, tells us not to use words with no definite definition (Orwell 238). When meaningless words are used, there can be multiple interpretations of the meaning and these words are typically meant to deceive people (Orwell 239). Though Orwell’s intention was mainly for political leaders, everyday people make these errors. With knowledge of these errors, we can learn to fix our mistakes. Newman and Genevieve Birk are English professors who have published several books on English language. This passage in particular focuses on the slanted information that we receive in our everyday lives. In fact, much of the information we read and hear slant towards audiences having a specific response (Birk and Birk 224). What we take from that information is screened, slanted by selected facts, emphasis, charged words, and charged language. Before any information is interpreted into words, the principle of selection, also known as screening, occurs (Birk and Birk 224). Let us say that an individual experiences an event. Details that the person remembers become part of their knowledge and is then screened and summarized into
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