Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a reduced language created by the totalitarian state as a tool to limit free thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, peace, etc. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as “thoughtcrime.
Newspeak is explained in chapters 4 and 5 of Nineteen Eighty-Four, and in an appendix to the book. The language follows, for the most part, the same grammatical rules as English, but has a much more limiting, and constantly shifting vocabulary. Any synonyms or antonyms, along with undesirable concepts are eradicated. The goal is for everyone to be speaking this language by the year 2050 (the story is set in the year 1984—hence the title). In the mean time, Oldspeak (current English) is still spoken among the working class citizens of Oceania, or the Proles .
Orwell was inspired to invent Newspeak by the constructed language Basic English, which he promoted from 1942 to 1944 before emphatically rejecting it in his essay "Politics and the English Language". In this paper he deplores the bad English of his day, citing dying metaphors, pretentious diction or rhetoric, and meaningless words, which he claimed to encourage unclear thought and reasoning. Towards the end of the essay, Orwell states: “I said earlier that the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an argument at all, that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development by any direct tinkering with words or constructions."
Basic principles 
To remove synonyms and antonyms 
The aim of Newspeak is to remove all shades of meaning from language, leaving simple concepts (pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, goodthink and crimethink) that reinforce the total dominance of the State. Newspeak root words serve as both nouns and verbs, further reducing the total number of words; for example, "think" is both noun and verb, so the word thought is not required and can be abolished. The party also intends that Newspeak be spoken in staccato rhythms with syllables that are easy to pronounce. This will make speech more automatic and unconscious and reduce the likelihood of thought. (See duckspeak.)
In addition, words with negative meanings are removed as redundant, so "bad" becomes "ungood". Words with comparative and superlative meanings are also simplified, so "better" becomes "gooder", and "best" becomes "goodest". Intensifiers can be added, so "great" became "plusgood", and "excellent" and "splendid" become "doubleplusgood". Adjectives are formed by adding the suffix "-ful" to a root word (e.g., "goodthinkful", orthodox in thought), and adverbs by adding "-wise" ("goodthinkwise", in an orthodox manner). This would, of course, not prevent heretic statements such as "Big Brother is ungood", but not only would this statement sound absurd in the ears of the politically orthodox, it would also be impossible to understand exactly what the statement means, since all concepts and words that can be used to argue against Big Brother would be eradicated from the language.
Some of the constructions in Newspeak, such as "ungood", are characteristic of agglutinative languages, although foreign to English. It is possible that Orwell modelled aspects of Newspeak on Esperanto; for example "ungood" is constructed similarly to the Esperanto word malbona. Orwell had been exposed to Esperanto in 1927 when living in Paris with his aunt Ellen Kate Limouzin and her husband Eugène Lanti, a prominent Esperantist. Esperanto was the language of the house, and Orwell was disadvantaged by not speaking it, which may account for some antipathy towards the language.
To control thought 
According to George Orwell, "The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meaning and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meaning whatever."
For example, the word "free" still existed in Newspeak but could only be used in terms of something not being possessed as in, "the dog is free from lice" or, "this field is free from weeds." It could not be used in terms of being able to do as one pleases, as in "free choice" or" free will" since these concepts no longer existed. Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum. Any redundancies in the English language were removed.
As Orwell further states, "By 2050—earlier, probably—all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron—they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like "freedom is slavery" when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."
Some examples of Newspeak from the novel include crimethink, doublethink, and Ingsoc. They mean, respectively, "thought-crime", "accepting as correct two mutually contradictory beliefs", and "English socialism" (the official political philosophy of the Party). The word Newspeak itself also comes from the language.
Generically, Newspeak has come to mean any attempt to restrict disapproved language by a government or other powerful entity.
Application of Newspeak principles 
The idea of censorship and subtly influencing modes of thinking through linguistic framing is introduced by George Lakoff in his book Moral Politics. Here, Lakoff relates the concept in terms of the inherent moral metaphors of liberals and conservatives, respectively. He observes that conservatives pay great consideration to this concept through linguistic think tanks and has volunteered himself to liberals in this capacity. An example offered by Lakoff of such linguistic framing examines the phrase "voter revolt." The word "revolt" implies oppression being overcome through force, and generally has a positive connotation. If one adds the word "voter," to "revolt," the voters are then the oppressed, and the governor is the oppressor. Linguistic framing is also prevalent in advertising.
Vocabulary and Grammar 
In Orwell's novel, Newspeak attempts to influence thought by consolidating (decreasing) the expressiveness of the English language. In keeping with these principles, the following words serve as both nouns and verbs. Thus, crimethink is both the noun meaning "thoughtcrime" and the verb meaning "to commit thoughtcrime". To form an adjective, one adds the suffix "-ful" (e.g., crimethinkful) and to form an adverb, "-wise" (e.g., crimethinkwise). There are some irregular forms, like the adjectival forms of Minitrue, Minipax, Miniplenty, and Miniluv (Ministry of Truth, Ministry of Peace, Ministry of Plenty, and Ministry of Love, respectively – all ministries of the active government in 1984). To say that something or someone is the best, Newspeak uses doubleplusgood, while the worst would be doubleplusungood (e.g., "Big Brother is doubleplusgood, Emmanuel Goldstein is doubleplusungood").
The word bellyfeel refers to a blind, enthusiastic acceptance of an idea. “Consider, for example, such a typical sentence from a Times leading article as ‘Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Ingsoc.’ The shortest rendering one could make of this in Oldspeak would be: ‘Those whose ideas were formed before the Revolution cannot have a full emotional understanding of the principles of English Socialism.’ But this is not an adequate translation. ... Only a person thoroughly grounded in Ingsoc could appreciate the full force of the word bellyfeel, which implied a blind, enthusiastic, and casual acceptance difficult to imagine today.” -Orwell’s 1984 appendix
Blackwhite is defined as follows: “ ...this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. ” —Orwell, 1984
The word is an example of Newspeak and doublethink. It represents the active process of rewriting the past—a vital aspect of the Party's control over the present. The ability to blindly believe anything, regardless of its absurdity, can have different causes: respect for authority, fear, indoctrination, even critical laziness or gullibility. Orwell's blackwhite refers only to that caused by fear, indoctrination, or repression of one's individual critical thinking ("to know black is white"), rather than caused by laziness or gullibility. A true Party member could automatically, and without thought, expunge any "incorrect" information and totally replace it with "true" information from the Party. If properly done, there is no memory or recovery of the "incorrect" information that could cause unhappiness to the Party member by committing thoughtcrime.
Crimethink is the Newspeak word for thoughtcrime (thoughts that are unorthodox or outside the official government platform), as well as the verb meaning "to commit thoughtcrime". Goodthink, which is approved by the Party, is the opposite of crimethink. In the book, Winston Smith, the main character, writes in his diary, “ Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death. ” —Orwell, 1984
Duckspeak is a Newspeak term meaning literally to quack like a duck or to speak without thinking. Duckspeak can be good or "ungood" (bad) depending on who is speaking, and whether what they are saying aligns with the ideals of Big Brother. To speak rubbish and lies may be ungood, but to speak rubbish and lies for the good of The Party may be good. In the appendix to 1984, Orwell explains: “ Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word duckspeak […]. Like various words in the B vocabulary, duckspeak was ambivalent in meaning. Provided that the opinions which were quacked out were orthodox ones, it implied nothing but praise, and when the Times referred to one of the orators of the Party as a doubleplusgood duckspeaker it was paying a warm and valued compliment. ” —Orwell, 1984
An example of duckspeak in action is provided in chapter 9, when an Inner Party speaker is haranguing the crowd about the crimes of Eurasia when a note is passed into his hand; he never stops speaking or changes his inflection, but (according to the changed Party position) he now condemns the crimes of Eastasia, which is Oceania's new enemy.
GOODSEX & SEXCRIME
"Sexcrime" redirects here.
Goodsex is any form of sex considered acceptable by the Party; specifically, this refers only to married heterosexual sex for the exclusive purpose of providing new children for the Party. All other forms of sex are considered sexcrime.
Ownlife refers to the tendency to enjoy being solitary or individualistic, which is considered subversive. Winston Smith comments that even to go for a walk by oneself can be regarded as suspicious.
An unperson is someone who has been "vaporized"—not only killed by the state, but erased from existence. Such a person would be written out of existing books, photographs, and articles so no trace of their existence could be found in the historical record. The idea is that such a person would, according to the principles of doublethink, be forgotten completely (for it would be impossible to provide evidence of their existence), even by close friends and family. Mentioning his or her name, or even speaking of their past existence, is thoughtcrime; the concept that the person may have existed at one time and has disappeared cannot be expressed in Newspeak.
"Un-" is a Newspeak prefix used for negation. It is used as a prefix to make the word negative, since there are no antonyms in Newspeak. For example, warm becomes uncold. It is often decided to keep the word with a more unpleasant nuance to it when diminishing vocabulary. Therefore, cold is preferred to unwarm or unhot, and dark is preferred to unlight. The Party's choice for the less pleasant versions of an antonym may be interpreted as a way of rendering its subjects depressive and pessimistic, as well as to limit and suppress unorthodox thought.
On the other hand, the Party also controls one's ability to think negatively by sometimes allowing only the positive term preceded by "un-". For example, the concept of "bad" can be expressed only with ungood. When placed before a verb, "un-" becomes a negative imperative; for example, unproceed means "do not proceed".
"Ante-" is added to a word in place of using the word "before" (and literally means 'before' in Latin). For example, "antefiling" would mean "before filing".
"Plus-" is an intensifier, in place of "more" or the suffix "-er" (in some situations). Thus, great or better becomes plusgood.
"Doubleplus-" further intensifies "plus-", so doubleplusgood is used in place of excellent or best.
"-ful" is a Newspeak suffix used to turn another word into an adjective. For example, rapid would be rendered as speedful.
"-ed" is the only method of making a non-auxiliary verb past tense in the A-vocabulary. This decreases the number of words required to express tenses by removing irregular conjugations. Run becomes runned, drink becomes drinked, etc.
"-wise" is a Newspeak suffix used to turn another word into an adverb; for example, quickly would be speedwise. Therefore "He ran very quickly" would become "He runned plus-speedwise".
(Many of these are only part of the "abbreviated jargon – not actually Newspeak, but consisting largely of Newspeak words – used in the Ministry for Internal Purposes", described by Orwell in chapter 4.)
artsem: Artificial insemination.
bb: Big Brother.
crimestop: To rid oneself of unwanted thoughts, i.e., thoughts that interfere with the ideology of the Party. This way, a person avoids committing thoughtcrime.
dayorder: Order of the day.
equal: Only used to describe physical equality such as height and size. It does not refer to social, political, or economical equality because there is no such concept as social inequality in purportedly egalitarianistic Ingsoc.
facecrime: An indication that a person is guilty of thoughtcrime based on their facial expression.
free: Meaning Negative freedom (without) in a physical sense, only in statements like "This dog is free from lice", as the concepts of "political freedom" and "intellectual freedom" do not exist in Newspeak.
goodthink: Vaguely translatable to orthodox thought.
ingsoc: English Socialism.
issue: Children produced by goodsex.
joycamp: Forced labor camp.
malquoted: Flaws or inaccurate presentations of Party or Big Brother-related matters by the press.
miniluv: "Ministry of Love" (secret police, interrogation and torture).
minipax: "Ministry of Peace" (Ministry of War, cf: 'Department of Defense' vs. 'War Department').
minitrue: "Ministry of Truth" (propaganda and alteration of history, culture and entertainment).
miniplenty: "Ministry of Plenty" (keeping the population in a state of constant economic hardship).
oldspeak: English; perhaps any language that is not Newspeak.
oldthink: Ideas inspired by events or memories of times prior to the Revolution.
pornosec: Subunit of the Fiction Department of the Ministry of Truth that produces pornography for proles.
prolefeed: The steady stream of mindless entertainment produced to distract and occupy the masses.
recdep: "Records Department" (division of the Ministry of Truth that deals with the rectification of records; department in which Winston works).
rectify: Used by the Ministry of Truth as a euphemism for the deliberate alteration of the past.
ref: To refer (to).
speakwrite: An instrument used by Party members to note or "write" down information by speaking into an apparatus as a faster alternative to an "ink pencil". It is used in the Ministry of Truth by the protagonist Winston Smith.
telescreen: Television and security camera-like devices used by the ruling Party in Oceania to keep its subjects under constant surveillance.
thinkpol: The Thought Police.
upsub: Submit to higher authority. In one scene in the novel, Winston Smith is instructed to alter a document to conform with the Party line and submit it to his superiors before filing it: (“rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling”).
yp: year plan.
A, B, AND C VOCABULARY
The "A" group of words deals with simple concepts needed in everyday life (such as eating, drinking, working, cooking, etc.). It is almost entirely made of words that already exist in the English language.
The "B" group of words is deliberately constructed to convey more complicated ideas. The words in this group are compound words with political implications, and aim to impose the mental attitude of the Party upon the speaker. For example, the Newspeak word "goodthink" roughly means "orthodoxy". The B words were in all cases compound words. They consisted of two or more words, or portions of words, welded together in an easily pronounceable form. The resulting amalgam was always a noun-verb, and inflected according to the ordinary rules.
The "C" group of words deals with technical vocabulary and is supplementary to the other two groups. Since the Party does not want its people to have knowledge of more than one restricted subject, there is no Newspeak word for "science" as a whole. There are separate words for different fields.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Newspeak 
The advantages of Newspeak are its means of preserving the secrets of the Party, preventing politically motivated actions, and promoting the use of politically correct terms. Its disadvantages include the Party using censorship and glamorization of themselves, compromised freedom of speech, and the prevention of the flow of ideas for the citizens of Oceania, who are controlled by this reduction in their language.
Words created to soften the blow of something taboo quickly absorb any negative connotations they were meant to avoid in the first place. Steven Pinker, a linguist at Harvard University, calls this the “euphemism treadmill,” also known as pejoration. By creating such euphemisms, Newspeak only creates a new generation of derogatory terms. As stated by Pinker in his article The Game of the Name, "the euphemism treadmill shows that concepts, not words, are in charge: give a concept a new name, and the name becomes colored by the concept; the concept does not become freshened by the name." 
In expressing their opinions and concerns, the Party exercises the same rights librarians seek to protect when they confront censorship. In making their criticisms known, characters such as Winston and Julia who object to certain ideas are exercising the same rights as those who created and disseminated the material to which they object. Their rights to voice opinions and efforts to persuade others to adopt those opinions is protected only if the rights of persons to express ideas they despise are also protected.
Due to the Party's control of the English language, such limited language limits the thoughts of the people. Without the means to express thoughts much deeper than "I feel good" or "I feel ungood," there is no means to successfully commit a thought crime and even if it was committed, there is no way many people would understand enough to follow and take action. Free speech is limited as the dictionary slims down with each new edition and words continue to be limited or taken out. There is not much difference between this action and reducing the population that could actually read the word "dictionary" if the book was placed in front of them. Without the ability to read or write, the illiterate cannot effectively know how to protect themselves from the loss of this freedom that they may not realize they even have.
Real Life Examples 
A comparison to Newspeak may arguably be seen in political rhetoric, where two opposing sides string together phrases so empty of meaning that they may be compared to the taunts children toss back and forth. The arguments of either side ultimately reduce to "I'm good; he's bad." 
Charges of Newspeak are sometimes advanced when a group tries to replace a word or phrase that is politically unsuitable (e.g. "civilian casualties") or offensive (e.g. "murder") with a politically correct or inoffensive one (e.g. "collateral damage"). Some maintain that to make certain words or phrases '"unspeakable" (thought crime), restricts what ideas may be held (Newspeak) and is therefore tantamount to censorship. Others believe that expunging terms that have fallen out of favor or become insulting will make people less likely to hold outdated or offensive views. The intent to alter the minds of the public through changes made to language illustrates Newspeak perfectly.
Either way, there is a resemblance between political correctness and Newspeak, although some may feel that they differ in their intentions: in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Newspeak is instituted to enhance the power of the state over the individual; politically correct language, on the other hand, is said by supporters to free individuals from stereotypical preconceptions caused by the use of prejudicial terminology. It is this attempt to change thought through changing (or eliminating) words that earns political correctness the connection to Newspeak. The main distinction is that politically correct language is often inspired only by politeness, while Newspeak has a more explicit limiting political motivation.
Newspeak was created to institute thought control and thereby exert political control through restrictive changes to the language. The term is now commonly used to refer to attempts to obscure the truth, especially in political rhetoric which abounds with instances of it.
The use of Newspeak is also evident in how politicians use language to dominate politics. According to UC Berkeley linguistics professor George Lakoff, "Language always comes with what is called "framing." Every word is defined relative to a conceptual framework. If you have something like "revolt," that implies a population that is being ruled unfairly, or assumes it is being ruled unfairly, and that they are throwing off their rulers, which would be considered a good thing. That's a frame.
The first thing to know about language is that it expresses ideas and thoughts. Every word is defined with respect to what cognitive scientists call a frame. A frame is a conceptual structure of a certain form. An example of this is the use of the word "relief." The word "relief" has a conceptual frame associated with it. This frame is: In order to give someone relief, there has to be an affliction and an afflicted party—somebody who’s harmed by this affliction—and a reliever, somebody who gives relief to the afflicted party or takes away the harm or pain. That reliever is a hero. If someone tries to stop the person giving relief from doing so, they are seen as antagonistic. They are a villain. They want to keep the affliction ongoing. In conclusion, when one only uses the word, "relief," all of that information is called up. That is a simple conceptual frame."
See also 
|This article may be in need of reorganization to comply with Wikipedia's layout guidelines. (December 2012)|
- 2 + 2 = 5
- Code word
- Controlled natural language
- Dumbing down
- Language and thought
- List of Newspeak words
- LTI - Lingua Tertii Imperii
- Philosophy of Language
- Political correctness
- Sapir–Whorf hypothesis
- Thought-terminating cliché
- Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius
- Orwell, George (1949). Nineteen Eighty-Four. Secker and Warburg. ISBN 978-0-452-28423-4.
- "The Principles of Newspeak". newspeakdictionary.com. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- OED: "any corrupt form of English; esp. ambiguous or euphemistic language as used in official pronouncements or political propaganda."
- "Groundation - One More Day (Live It Up)". youtube.com. February 8, 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Pros and Cons of Censorship". buzzle.com. July 12, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Bad Euphemisms, Political Correctness and Censorship". wordpress.com. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Q & A". ala.org. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Newspeak and George Orwell's 1984". netcharles.com. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Framing the issues: UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff tells how conservatives use language to dominate politics". berkeley.edu. October 27, 2003. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "The Republicans Know How to Frame Issues and Keep the Democrats on the Defensive. A BuzzFlash Interview with "Framing" Expert, UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff". opednews.com. October 27, 2003. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
Further reading 
- Burgess, Anthony. Nineteen Eighty-Five. Boston: Little Brown & Co, 1978. ISBN 0-316-11651-3. Anthony Burgess discusses the plausibility of Newspeak.
- Green, Jonathon. Newspeak: a dictionary of jargon. London, Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985, 1984. ISBN 0-7102-0673-9.
- "Find in a library: Newspeak: A dictionary of Jargon", by Jonathon Green. Retrieved 21 April 2006.
- Klemperer, Victor. LTI - Lingua Tertii Imperii: Notizbuch eines Philologen.. Original German language editions.
- Klemperer, Victor & Watt, Roderick H. LTI - Lingua Tertii Imperii: A Philologist's Notebook. Lewiston: E. Mellen Press, 1997. ISBN 0-7734-8681-X. An annotated edition of Victor Klemperer’s LTI, Notizbuch eines Philologen with English notes and commentary by Roderick H. Watt.
- Klemperer, Victor & Brady, Martin (tr.). The language of the Third Reich: LTI - Lingua Tertii Imperii: A Philologist's Notebook. London, UK; New Brunswick, NJ: Athlone Press, 2000. ISBN 0-485-11526-3 (alk. paper). Translated by Martin Brady.
- Young, John Wesley . Totalitarian Language: Orwell's Newspeak and Its Nazi and Communist Antecedents. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1991. ISBN 0-8139-1324-1. John Wesley Young wrote this scholarly work about Newspeak and historical examples of language control.
- An independent compilation of the Newspeak language
- The Principles of Newspeak
- George Orwell's 1984
- New Examples of Newspeak