newspeak

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NEWSPEAK. A simplified ARTIFICIAL LANGUAGE based on English in George ORWELL'S novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). Almost any Newspeak word could serve as any part of speech; hence the verb think did duty for the noun thought, and Newspeak replaced Newspeech. Affixes were common: ungood, goodwise. The regular stealed and mans replaced irregular forms like stole or men. Compounds were frequent: doublethink, oldthink, Oldspeak (standard English). Other words were telescoped: Ficdep Fiction Department, Ingsoc English Socialism, Minitrue Ministry of Truth. Newspeak was intended not only to express but to form politically acceptable habits of thought, ‘at least so far as thought is dependent on words’. It therefore excluded ambiguities and shades of meaning, along with words for unacceptable concepts like honour and democracy. Its ideological slant rendered it unable to express or translate such statements as the Oldspeak ‘all men are created equal’, because the concept of political equality was crimethink. Newspeak has become a term in the language at large for misleading (especially political) jargon, and is the source for a large number of words modelled on it, such as nukespeak and teenspeak. See BASIC ENGLISH, -SPEAK.

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newspeakantique, batik, beak, bespeak, bezique, bleak, boutique, cacique, caïque, cheek, chic, clique, creak, creek, critique, Dominique, eke, freak, geek, Greek, hide-and-seek, keek, Lalique, leak, leek, Martinique, meek, midweek, Mozambique, Mustique, mystique, oblique, opéra comique, ortanique, peak, Peake, peek, physique, pique, pratique, reek, seek, shriek, Sikh, sleek, sneak, speak, Speke, squeak, streak, teak, technique, tongue-in-cheek, tweak, unique, veronique, weak, week, wreak •stickybeak • grosbeak • houseleek •forepeak • technospeak • newspeak •doublespeak • hairstreak • tugrik •fenugreek • Realpolitik • Ostpolitik •pipsqueak • workweek

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new·speak / ˈn(y)oōˌspēk/ • n. ambiguous euphemistic language used chiefly in political propaganda.

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newspeak the name of an artificial official language in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), now used to denote ambiguous euphemistic language used chiefly in political propaganda.