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“I mean to say …”

  • Ralph Footring (a1)
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You might regard words as dependable things, that never do anything more tricksy than linger overly long on the tip of your tongue. But beware – don't let them gang up on you, or you'll be left with phrases.

George Orwell (1946) wrote in ‘Politics and the English language’ that:

“prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together … the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you – even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent – and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself.”(pp. 145, 152, italics in original)

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Orwell, G. (1946) Politics and the English language. Currently available in Inside the Whale and Other Essays. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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“I mean to say …”

  • Ralph Footring (a1)
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