A paradox of George Orwell’s legacy is that the term Orwellian has come to mean a cynical manipulation of language. Of course, Orwell’s own prose fought constantly against such deceit. He was a carpenter of the English language, and his paragraphs are simple, unvarnished attempts at nailing together the truth.
His inventions, most notably the pigs of Animal Farm and the oppressive Party and Big Brother in his dystopian novel 1984, were the true masters of doublespeak. While a character in 1984 may say, “It is the beautiful thing, the destruction of words,” Orwell himself had a stubborn conviction that clear language could expose tyranny, failed logic, and lies. Orwell’s writing, ironically, is not Orwellian.