Newspeak  

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Newspeak is the language of Oceania, a fictional totalitarian state ruled by the Party, who created the language to meet the ideological requirements of English Socialism (Ingsoc). In George Orwell's world of Nineteen Eighty-Four, Newspeak is a controlled language, of restricted grammar and limited vocabulary, a linguistic design meant to limit the freedom of thought—personal identity, self-expression, free will—that ideologically threatens the régime of Big Brother and the Party, who thus criminalised such concepts as thoughtcrime, contradictions of Ingsoc orthodoxy.

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Vocabulary

As a controlled language, Newspeak limits the user's communications (thought, spoken, and written) with a vocabulary that diminishes the intellectual range allowed by Oldspeak (Standard English), which is realised by using words that function both as nouns and as verbs; thus, the word crimethink denotes two things: (i) A thoughtcrime (noun), and (ii) the action "to commit thoughtcrime" (verb). The adjective is formed with the suffix "–ful" (crimethinkful), and the adverb is formed with the suffix "–wise" (crimethinkwise).

Newspeak words of irregular form, such as Minitrue (Ministry of Truth), Minipax (Ministry of Peace), Miniplenty (Ministry of Plenty), and Miniluv (Ministry of Love) usually identify government ministries. The superlative meanings of words are formed with the positive prefix "plus–" (plusgood) and with the negative prefix "un–" (ungood). To communicate a greater degree of negativity and of positivity, the Newspeak user affixes the prefix-word double– to the prefixes "plus–" and "un–" to the root word good (doubleplusungood), as in the phrases: "Big Brother is doubleplusgood" and "Emmanuel Goldstein is doubleplusungood".

  • ante — the prefix that replaces before; e.g. antefiling meaning before filing
  • artsem — artificial insemination
  • bb — Big Brother
  • bellyfeel — the blind, enthusiastic acceptance of an idea
  • blackwhite — when used on an opponent, it means to believe that black is white, despite the facts; on a Party member, it means the ability to believe that black is white, to know that black is white, and to forget that one ever believed the contrary
  • crimestop — to rid oneself of unorthodox thoughts that interfere with believing the tenets of Ingsoc, the ideology of the Party
  • crimethink — the criminal act of holding politically unorthodox thoughts that contradict the tenets of Ingsoc (English Socialism)
  • dayorder — Order of the day
  • doubleplusgood — the word that replaced the Oldspeak words excellent, best, and benevolent
  • doubleplusungood — the word that replaced the Oldspeak words terrible and worst
  • doublethink — the act of simultaneously believing two, mutually contradictory ideas
  • duckspeak — automatic, vocal support of political orthodoxies
  • equal — physical equality
  • facecrime — a person's facial expression, which communicates that he or she has committed thoughtcrime
  • free — the absence and the lack of something
  • –ful — the suffix for forming an adjective
  • good — a synonym for "orthodox" and orthodoxy
  • goodthink — politically orthodoxy as defined by the Party
  • goodsex — sexual intercourse only for procreation
  • ingsoc — English Socialism
  • joycamp — a forced labour camp
  • malquoted — inaccurate representations of the words of Big Brother and of the Party
  • Miniluv — the Ministry of Love where the secret police, interrogate and torture the enemies of Oceania
  • Minipax — the Ministry of Peace wages defensive war for Oceania
  • Minitrue — Ministry of Truth manufactures consent by way of propaganda and altered historical records, and provides culture and entertainment
  • Miniplenty — the Ministry of Plenty keeps the population in continual economic hardship
  • misprints — Factual errors requiring editorial correction to prove the Party always correct and in the right
  • Oldspeak – Standard English
  • oldthink — ideas from the time before the Party's revolution
  • ownlife — a person's anti-social tendency to enjoy solitude and individualism
  • plusgood — the word that replaced the Oldspeak words better and great
  • pornosec — the pornography production section of the Fiction Department of the Ministry of Truth
  • prolefeedPopular culture for the entertainment of the proletariat of Oceania
  • Recdep — the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth where Winston Smith edits the historical records so they conform to the Party policy
  • rectify — the Ministry of Truth euphemism for the alteration of the historical record
  • ref — to refer (to someone or something)
  • sec — sector
  • sexcrime — sexual intercourse for pleasure
  • speakwrite — a machine that transcribes speech into text
  • telescreen — the two-way television set with which the Party spy upon the population of Oceania
  • thinkpol — the abbreviation for the Thought Police
  • unperson — a dead person, usually executed, whose existence is excised from public and private memory in Oceania
  • upsub — an upwards submission to higher authority; ordered to rewrite fullwise, and upsub antefiling, Winston Smith edits a document so it conforms to the Party policy
  • –wise — the suffix for forming an adverb

A, B, and C vocabularies

The words of the A vocabulary describe the functional concepts of daily life (eating and drinking, working and cooking, etc.), mostly of Oldspeak words. The words of the B vocabulary are constructed to convey complex ideas; compound words (noun-verb) of political implication mean to impose upon and instill to the user the politically correct mental attitude required by the Party, e.g. the Newspeak word goodthink denotes "political orthodoxy", and is inflected according to the grammar of Standard English. The words of the C vocabulary are technical terms that supplement the linguistic functions of the A and B vocabularies. Distribution of the C vocabulary is limited, because the Party do not want the citizens of Oceania to know more than one way of life and techniques of production; hence, the Oldspeak word science has no equivalent term in Newspeak, instead, there are specific technical words for speaking of technical fields.


See also

Authoritarian regimes:

Fiction:




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Newspeak" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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