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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 12/11/10

Class Division in the English Language

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German-derived French-derived cow beef pig pork/ham deer venison sheep mutton calf veal


Chicken and fish are the exceptions here, most likely because these meats were less expensive and more available for peasants and workers.

Finally, most of our government/state words are all French: court, judge, jury, indict, appeal, traitor, prison, military, representative, parliament, Congress, president, and marriage.

I notice that when I use the French-derived words, I experience a slight feeling of discomfort, as if I'm trying to impress people with my big words. This is precisely how academia functions, which is why if you attend a university or graduate school, you will be inundated with French and Latin-derived vocabulary, to distinguish you from the uneducated masses with their street language.

Might all of this explain why American conceptions of the French are as snooty, pompous, pretentious, easily-hate-able snobs? In occupied England, THEY WERE!

And for anyone interested in working class revolution, the best way not to talk down to people: stick with the more common Germanic words instead of bureaucratese.

Towards freedom! (not mere liberty)

p.s. George Orwell wrote an awesome essay called Politics of the English Language, where he breaks down how abstract, complex language is a tool for those who seek to confuse the populace, and he outlines how to make use of concrete, plain English to actually reach people. A highly recommended essay for anyone who wants to write.

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Alex Knight is a proponent of the End of Capitalism Theory, which states that the global capitalist system is breaking down due to ecological and social limits to growth and that a paradigm shift toward a non-capitalist future is underway. He is (more...)
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Class Division in the English Language

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