My Anthem

Monday, December 31, 2012

On NILE BOWIE, see NewSundayTimes for his UMNO Crap!

LAST Sunday the NST carried an article by wan NILE BOWIE -- I deem that write-up by someone ala helicoptered-into-Malaysia for a quikkie sponsored trip -- you guess it, the paymaster is ...., rimes with Oh, No! -- as so full of shit I won't reproduce it save the first THREE paras, as follows as sighted in, who I concluded had soul'd out to the same paymaster after I Had had THREE FACE-OFFS with the royal blogger resident-in-woeManchester, UK:~~

Dubious backers of regime change

Sunday, 30 December 2012 Super Admin
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AS Malaysia prepares for a general election, distrust of the political opposition and accusations of foreign interference have been major talking points in the political frequencies emanating from Kuala Lumpur.
Premesh Chandran, the chief executive officer of the nation's most prominent alternative media outlet, Malaysiakini, is a grantee of Soros' Open Society Foundations and launched the news organisation with a US$100,000 (RM300,000) grant from the Bangkok-based Southeast Asian Press Alliance, another organisation with dubious affiliations to the US State Department.
Nile Bowie, RT 
Umno leads the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, and has maintained power since independence in 1957.


DESIDERATA: When I first sighted the source, the article named "RT", and my cheeky reaction was thinking allowed: Since when has RukunTetangga ventured into political posturing? Or is Bowie a Mercenary for Hire balls-carrying the present regime for BIG bucks?

I will just share that I read the piece once over, and these characters stood out as commenters used by RT.

Dr Chandra Muzaffar, that pseudo intellectual who was once Aliran=Chandra and Chandra=Aliran; then he evolved into present Just=Chandra, Chandra=Just. (I wouldn't want to elaborate on why I deem him pseudo; those who have heard him from days of yore would know the TRANSFORMTION by RM... that that party which rimes with Oh! No! is famous for. Someone who elicits the same reaction from Desi but not as an intellectual but a representative-of-the-Chinese Government spokesman is the great Lee Lam Thye, now Tan Si-cum-Loctor somemore. Minta maaf I digress!:(

I like one early commenter's input  atm2day --so I humbly borrow his thots hear, can? --
" written by truthbespoken, December 30, 2012 15:54:56
Right from the start, Nile Bowie has overtly shifted his alignment towards the current government. Bringing the pseudo political scientist Chandra Mustapha into the picture and portraying him as a believable pro-government 'political scientist' as well as rudely disarming Ambiga in her honorable efforts to seek a clean and fair elections further discredits Nile's posting. Probably another foreign 'professional' writer recruited by the current government in her concerted efforts to influence readers over to their side. Who is Nile by the way? Does anybody know? Hope this fellow is not Jewish like the Agency employed by the government previously to enchance her local and international image. That would certainly be another bad mistake by this failing but arrogant and corrupt government. Haha. "

PS: The article's LAST LINE is a revealing self-righteous dismissal of BERSIH2.0 chairperson, Ambiga Sreneevasan, and I quote this Bowie: "As elections loom, Ambiga is already dubbing them "the dirtiest elections ever seen" -- unsurprising rhetoric from a woman being handed her talking points by the US embassy."

WHO THE BLARDY F**Ks is this BOWIE to disparage a well-esteemed social activist whose leadership of BERSIH has educated hundreds if not thousands of Malaysians to be well informed of their rights, BRAVE ENOUGH TO FACE OFF WITH THE WATER CANNONS AND TEAR-GAS of the Oh-No party's lap dogs who dared call themselves "Royal" police personnel?

Hey, Bowie, don't helicopter inn to Kuala Lum,pur and deem yourself expert enough to write on Malaysian affairs. Are you the one who has a list of talking points from your paymaster who pays by your word-c'unting shit? Bowie, You have NO CREDENTIALS, while AMBIGA AMPLY HAS, being a past Bar Council chief and having won an international award from the US. ~~ YL, Desi, knottyaSsusual

A Recent Post of greAt Signifcance, Hence Desi Is Reprising It...

from sentinel, so Malaysians are well-informed of the "significant" UNFIISHED BUSINESS of a foreign national-cum-beauty named ALTANTUYA who had the misfortune of befriending some Malaysians and now prematurely had her body blown to smithereens on Malaysian soil. Her death remains an Agatha Christie-type mystery and Desi has his own theory of the ending. But it's premtaure to share my thoughts with ye. In Malaysia, under the current UMNO regime, it's sometimes UNSAFE TO SHARE "THINKING ALOUD". THinking is allowed only for UMNOputras who can do no wlong!

Malaysian carpet dealer names a new figure in scandal

Media Monitor
Deepak Jaikishan names well connected lawyer in murder cover-up
Perhaps the most crucial – and quoted – document seeking to tie Najib Tun Razak, the current prime minister of Malaysia, to a murdered Mongolian beauty named Altantuya Shaariibuu was a sworn declaration filed on July 1, 2008 by a Kuala Lumpur-based private detective named Perumal Balasubramaniam.
That document, which detailed allegations of an affair between Najib, the then-defense minister and the 28-year-old woman, lasted just three days before it was dramatically reversed. Police allegedly picked up Balasubramaniam and took him to a Kuala Lumpur police station where he was told his family was in serious danger if he didn't reverse his statement.
The private detective was then taken to a room at the Hilton Hotel in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, where accordingly, on July 4, he signed a new six-page sworn statement in which he said, among other things, that "I wish to retract the entire contents of my Statutory Declaration dated 1July 2008. I was compelled to affirm the said Statutory Declaration dated 1July 2008 under duress."
Balasubramaniam now says he didn't write that statement. He never saw it, he said, until it was presented to him in the Hilton.
dato-cecil-abrahamFour and a half years later, the name of the person who wrote the reversal is believed to be that of Cecil Abraham (left), a senior partner with the law firm of Zul Rafique & Partners of Kuala Lumpur, one of the country's most prominent law firms and one that is a major beneficiary of government-related legal business. It is also a firm with considerable experience in defamation cases.
Abraham's name surfaced last week with another explosive revelation by Kuala Lumpur-based businessman Deepak Jaikishan, who told the Parti Islam se-Malaysia party newspaper Harakah that the attorney had written the document along with his son, and that the son had brought it to Balasubramaniam and the people who were holding him at the Hilton. According to Balasubramiam's lawyer, Americk Sidhu, Deepak was present in the hotel room when his brother, Dinesh, brought the declaration for Bala to sign. Bala wasn't allowed access to his own lawyer.
Since late November, Deepak has met with a string of opposition and independent websites to give progressively more damaging details about Najib's involvement in suppressing Balasbramaniam's original declaration, bringing Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor and his brother into the matter. With naming Abraham as the man who wrote the reversal of the declaration, he now takes it further into the United Malays National Organization power structure.
Abraham is both a datuk and a tan sri, honorific titles conferred on politically or socially prominent individuals by Malaysia's sultan. As an indication of his influence, no opposition publication was willing to print his name for days, including Harakah, only referring to him in various ways as an important figure. Abraham is considered one of the quietly most politically powerful figures in the country, a friend of the top members of UMNO including Hishamuddin Hussein, the Home Affairs minister, as well as Najib. He sits on a wide range of boards and committees including one that determines which cases are refused or initiated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Committee.
If indeed Abraham did write Bala's repudiation document, the besieged private detective never saw him – or the document – until it was given to him to sign. However, the Commissioner for Oaths who visited Bala in the room in which he was being held in at the Hilton to attest that it was his signature on the document was Zainal Abidin Muryat, a commissioner of oaths from Abraham's law firm, Zul Rafique & Partners.
"Let me make it very clear that my client does not know the identity of the lawyer(s) who drafted this 2nd statutory declaration," said Americk Sidhu. "He had not instructed any lawyer to do so. This is because the contents of his first statutory declaration were true to the best of his knowledge and belief. Therefore there was never any necessity to alter the contents of his first one. However, Bala was forced to sign a second one because of a threat to the safety of his wife and children."
After Balasubramaniam fled for Chennai, reportedly accompanied by his family a promise from Nazim Razak, the prime minister's brother, of RM5 million to keep his mouth shut, he held multiple press conferences to say he had been intimidated into reversing himself, and called repeatedly for an investigation of his charges by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Abraham also sits on the Operation Review Panel of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, which had the responsibility to examine Balasubramaniam's charges. The MACC has repeatedly turned him down. An MACC spokesman denied that Abraham had any say in declining an investigation.
Particularly since Deepak Jaikishan start issuing his spectacular charges in late November, the question of Balasubramaniam's first statutory declaration has assumed increasing relevance to the case. Altantuya was murdered on Oct. 19, 2006 by two of Najib's bodyguards. One of Najib's best friends, Abdul Razak Baginda, was initially charged with the crime. He had been Altantuya's lover, but jilted her.
For More, go to LINK:

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Einstein on Buddhism -- Great Thoughts Worth Sharing:)

UP TILL ABOUT a fortnight ago, Desi has had always associated Albert Einstein with the scientist with a leadng edge; in fact, many over the years have lauded him as the greatest scientist ever lived. I had studied him a byte, and am familiar with his Theory of Relativity and how theoretically IF ONE COULD TRAVEL AT A SPEED FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT (rep. by symbol "c' in Physics, which equals 186,000 miles per second methinks, I stand or seat corrected:), that person could go back to the past. Can you IMAGINE -- the excitement of being able to perhaps even affect past events!? It's the realm of FICTION WRITERS.

Then I gifted copies of my Midnight Voices and Other Poems to a staunch supporter -- let's call him SC for he's in a stock-related industry, and SC stood for Stock Exchange as in KLSE, now renamed Bursa Malaysia. I told SC that in my reprint, I had selected THREE EINSTEIN quotes to share with Malaysian readers as they are useful for RUMINATION at the important crossroads leading up to the 13th General Elections which must be held by end-June 2013.

I will reprise those 3 quotes for sharing later. What was important at my meeting over tehtark at TeMiang Corner was that SC told me that Einstein had also been one scientist who found in BUDDHISM much beauty that transcended mainstream religion. So I did some research, and yes, here I plucked some thoughts from the greatest scientific mind that ever lived who could appreciate the Buddhist teachings and put in simple language that weaves in the relations with his scientific knowledge and background.

Here's some quotable quotes extracted from and other sites:)~~~~



SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2005

Einstein on Buddhism

Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and spritual; and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. -Albert Einstein

If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. -Albert Einstein

A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe'; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compasion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
-Albert Einstein

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. -Albert Einstein 

DESIDERATA: I hope to come back after a break to share some more, aMore, anywan? Nebber on a Sundae?

Updated on 2 Jan 13:(
Desi has been a slow loris ringing in the Nude Year 2013 -- so what I promised to writHe aMore, please see belated post on Wed 2 Jan 2013!

Friday, December 21, 2012

More on the Altantuya and PI Bala issue and various players invvolved...

AND POOR READERS HAVE BEEN PLACE IN A DILEMMA to distill the truth for themselves. For a media-watcher like me, my advice to TO READ FROM BOTH MSM and ALTERNATIVE-plus-Blogger coverage -- THE TRUTH IS SOMEWHERE EMBEDDED IN BETWEEN!

BUT among the media -- both MSM print and Online/Internet -- I still prefer to read The Malaysian Insider as the reports are "professionally written as compared with the others. So here's one about PI Bala and inassociation the Carpetman, both having dubious credibiolity bacuse they have/had swirched sides on the Altantuya issue. AND BIG MONEY HAS CHANGED HANDS, so their hands and mouths are tainted.

The light at the end of the tunnel is still NOT IN SIGHT; maybe a change in federl government cometh GE13 will help in hastening the process to close the file on the mystery death of a Mongolian beauty on Malaysan soil, and associated events with many more culprits! ~~ Desi awiats with bated breath fro the next General Elections and see if Evil will triumph over the Power of the Rakyat/People and RIGHT! Meanw'il,

here's one MI report to read and digest carefully:) OR :(~~~~

Bar Council probe to verify misconduct in PI Bala’s SD

UPDATED @ 02:28:16 PM 21-12-2012
December 21, 2012

Lim confirmed the probe but declined to elaborate on the investigation. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 ― The Bar Council is investigating the possibility of misconduct in the drafting of P. Balasubramaniam’s second statutory declaration on the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, its president Lim Chee Wee said today.
Lim was asked to comment on a suggestion for the Bar Council to send out an email to all legal practitioners in Malaysia with a request that the lawyer who had drafted the private detective’s second sworn statement identify himself.
“The Bar Council is investigating this matter,” Lim told The Malaysian Insider today.
He declined to reveal further details of the investigation.
“We are investigating whether there’s any misconduct in this matter,” Lim said.
Balasubramaniam’s lawyer, Americk Singh Sidhu, made the suggestion yesterday, following days of controversy over the lawyer’s identity, with some prominent members of the public alleging the person was a lawyer who held the title of “Tan Sri”.
Americk had, in his media statement, called on Lim to “organise a simple email to be sent to all members of the Malaysian Bar requesting that the member(s) responsible for drafting that 2nd SD do the right thing and make themselves known, as it appears innocent parties may be publicly falling victim to the blame game and finger pointing which has emerged since Deepak’s revelations, to which I certainly do not subscribe”.
A cloud of mystery has been hanging over the identity of the lawyer who had drawn up Balasubramaniam’s second statutory declaration (SD), dated a day after his first on July 3, 2008, regarding Altantuya’s 2006 murder, for which two elite police commandos have been convicted and are facing death sentences.
In a harried press conference on July 4, 2008, Balasubramaniam, accompanied by lawyer M. Arulampalam, came out to withdraw his first SD, where he negated the contents of the first statement, claiming it had been signed under duress.
He then produced a second statement, which he claimed later in 2009 had been prepared by another lawyer, whom he did not meet with and who did not consult him when drafting the document.
A former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) adviser, Tan Sri Robert Phang, had publicly named Tan Sri Cecil Abraham, who sits on the graftbuster’s Operations Review Panel (PPO), as the lawyer in question in a news conference yesterday.
Three others have raised the issue publicly – carpet merchant Deepak Jaikishan, former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, and a political activist, Haris Ibrahim.
Deepak, who is also in the centre of the controversy surrounding Balasubramaniam’s two statutory declarations (SDs), recently let slip the name of the lawyer behind the second SD during an interview with PAS organ Harakah.
But when the interview was carried on PAS’s “TVPAS” channel on YouTube, the lawyer’s name was muted out.
Politician Zaid, who was the de facto law minister in the Abdullah administration, had also called for a probe over the allegations that are being raised in the run-up to key national polls.
Haris, a former lawyer, has written in to the Bar Council demanding it investigate the lawyer for misconduct.
But Americk, who said he knew Abraham personally and described him as “someone who possesses such an ingrained sense of dignity, integrity and professionalism”, pointed out there was no concrete evidence to show the latter had drafted Balasubramaniam’s second SD.
Americk stressed that the former private investigator had not met the person who drew up the second statement that he claimed he had been coerced to sign and was clueless as to the person’s identity.
The MACC’s PPO also spoke out on the issue yesterday, saying that Abraham had not been part of the review team that had closed the investigation file on Balasubramaniam’s SD.
“PPO had agreed with the decision by the deputy public prosecutor to stop investigating the case on grounds the main witnesses’ testimonies were not supported by any other witness and the credibility of the main witnesses were disputable.
“PPO wishes to state that one of the panel members, Tan Sri Datuk Cecil Abraham was not present and was not involved in that meeting,” Tan Sri Hadenan Abdul Jalil, chairman of the eight-man MACC operations review panel, said in a media statement.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Can You Ever Mend a BROKEN HEART?

In Desi's short life on mother Earth, from my experience, my definitive answer. A resonding NO. With TIME, the pain, will lessen BUT THE GRIEF HITS YOU ALL OVER AGAIN when you are AL1.

Yesterday as I watched CNN's Breaking News on the primary school shooting in Connecticut, USA, it's Deja VU all over again for the American people, I'm sure. A heavy price to pay for the ease with which Americans caneasily buy firearms over the counter. Just one snippet of the tragedy, from CNN who provided Live coverage which I viewed :~~~~

  • Suspect was wearing black fatigues and a military vest
  • Law enforcement officials identify him as 20-year-old Adam Lanza
  • His mother was found dead at a Newtown residence
  • The nation and the world react with shock
Newtown, Connecticut (CNN) -- Dressed in black fatigues and a military vest, a heavily armed man walked into a Connecticut elementary school Friday and opened fire, shattering the quiet of this southern New England town and leaving the nation reeling at the number of young lives lost.
Within minutes, 26 people were dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School -- 20 of them children. Among the six adults killed were Dawn Hochsprung, the school's beloved principal, and school psychologist Mary Sherlach.
The shooter, identified by three law enforcement officials as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, also was killed, apparently by his own hand. Separately, his mother's body was found at a Newtown residence.
"Stuff like this does not happen in Newtown," a tight-knit community of about 27,000 just outside Danbury, said Renee Burn, a local teacher at another school in town. In the past 10 years, only one homicide had previously been reported.
Photos: Connecticut school shootingPhotos: Connecticut school shooting
Suspected shooter's brother questioned
How the school shooting unfolded
Student: I saw bullets going past
With the death toll at 26, the Newtown shooting is the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, behind only the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech that left 32 people dead.
"Evil visited this community today," Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said of Friday's massacre.
Young students described being ushered into bathrooms and closets by teachers as the first shots rang out. Janet Vollmer, a kindergarten teacher, locked her classroom doors, covered the windows and read a story to her 19 students to keep them calm.
Third-grader Alexis Wasik said police and teachers barged into her classroom and told students to hide in the corner.
"Everybody was crying," she said. "And I just heard the police officers yelling."
One parent who was in the school at the time of the shooting said she heard a "pop, pop, pop," sound around 9:30 a.m. In the room with her were Hochsprung, the vice principal and Sherlach. All three left the room and went into the hall to see what was happening. The parent ducked under the table and called 911.
"I cowered," she told CNN's Meredith Artley. The shooter "must have shot a hundred rounds."
Responding police officers helped evacuate the children, telling them to hold hands and keep their eyes closed to the carnage as they exited the building.
As reports of the shooting surfaced, frantic parents descended on a nearby firehouse where the children had been taken.
"Why? Why?" one woman wailed as she walked up a wooded roadway leading from the school.
Police declined to speculate on a motive Friday evening, citing the ongoing investigation. Lanza had no known criminal record, a law enforcement official said.
Alex Israel, a former classmate of Lanza's, described him as "quiet" and "reserved."
"You could definitely tell he was a genius," Israel told CNN, adding she hadn't talked with him since middle school. "He was really quiet, he kept to himself."
Three weapons were recovered from the school: a semi-automatic .223 Bushmaster found in a car in the school parking lot, and a Glock and a Sig Sauer found with Lanza's body, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said. The weapons were legally purchased by Lanza's mother, the official said.
The official said Lanza died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said that the medical examiner will determine the cause of death for the gunman, though he noted that police never discharged their weapons.
In addition to the killings at Sandy Hook, another adult was found dead at a second location in Newtown, Vance said. A law enforcement source with detailed knowledge of the investigation identified that person as Lanza's mother, Nancy.
Despite earlier reports that said she was a teacher, Nancy Lanza was not a teacher at the school where the killings took place, said Janet Vollmer, a kindergarten teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Meanwhile, authorities in Hoboken, New Jersey, were questioning Ryan Lanza, the suspect's older brother, law enforcement sources said, though they did not label him a suspect. Lanza's father, who lives in Connecticut, was similarly questioned, one of the law enforcement officials said.
Earlier, investigators had identified Ryan Lanza as the shooter. It was not clear what caused the confusion among investigators.
The fact that so many of those killed were young children -- Sandy Hook serves students in kindergarten through fourth grade -- touched a nerve across the world Friday, from U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders expressing grief to regular folks reacting with horror on social media as the news unfolded. The overwhelming sentiment: Hug your kids closely.
Obama, a father of two girls, wiped away tears while delivering a statement about the shooting, saying, "Our hearts are broken today."
"The majority of those who died today were children. Beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old," he said.
The bodies of the young victims remained where they fell Friday night, as authorities worked to positively identify them.
Flags were ordered to fly at half-staff nationwide in tribute to the victims, and candlelight vigils were planned across the country as Americans came together to try to comprehend the tragedy.
At a vigil in Newtown, just a mile away from the school, mourners spilled from St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, which was filled to capacity.
"This is most definitely the worst thing we've experienced in town," Newtown Police Lt. George Sinko said.
Parents, meanwhile, struggled to come up with answers for their children who were among those safely evacuated Friday.
Aimee Seaver's daughter is a first-grader at Sandy Hook.
"It's a very rough night here," she told "AC 360." "When your first-grader goes to bed and says, 'Mommy, is anyone from my class last year -- are they all OK?' and you look at them and say, 'I'm not really sure,' it's a rough night to tell that to your 7-year-old."
It is not yet known how the gunman entered the school.
Hochsprung, the slain principal, had recently installed a new security system to ensure student safety.
Under the new system, every visitor was required to ring a doorbell at the front entrance after the doors locked at 9:30 a.m. and report to the main office to sign in.
Police began receiving reports of shots fired around 9:40 a.m. Friday.
In 1999, at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, two students shot 13 people to death before killing themselves.
CNN's Susan Candiotti reported from Newtown, Connecticut; Sarah Aarthun from Atlanta. CNN's Michael Pearson, Meredith Artley, John King, David Ariosto, Ashleigh Banfield, Joe Johns, Terry Frieden, Michael Martinez, Dana Ford and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

PS: Can I use a Bee Gees' song this occasion to express the feelings of the young victims' parents and family members; WHY, one often ask at such times, DOES IT HAPPEN TO THE INNOCENT "YOUNG ONES" -- their life snuffed out in the seonds from a "deranged" armed man who obviously had lost the sanity of a normal mind. The Bee Gees's via LINK:

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Bee Gees How Can You Mend A Broken Heart Lyrics

I can think of younger days when living for my life
Was everything a man could want to do.
I could never see tomorrow, but I was never told about the sorrow.

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend a this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.

I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow, noone said a word about the sorrow.

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.

Orwell's Politics and the English Language

via din merican aka dinobeano whom I deem an americaNiCed bumMER up Desi's alley -- where vv catch stray cats and miCe, niCe?

For Sundae's RUMINATION through the Malaysian DJ Blogger's HEart work:)~~~~~~

Orwell's Politics and the English Language (1946)

1 Votes

December 11, 2012
George OrwellIn recent years, we Malaysians have been subjected to manipulation, lies, spin and downright dishonesty. I thought this classic piece by George Orwell is a timely reminder that we can be taken from reality into dreamland by propagandists and spinmeisters. We read bad writing and that affects our thinking and actions.
The tools available to political writers today allow them to detach politics from reality on a daily basis. Big Brother is watching over us, making sure that we have our regular dosage of humbug on television and in the mainstream media.
As Mr. Orwell puts it, “…modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy.We do not have to think.–Din Merican

Politics and the English Language

by George Orwell (1946)
Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.
Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have politicalOrwell's 1984and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers. I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer. Meanwhile, here are five specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written.
These five passages have not been picked out because they are especially bad — I could have quoted far worse if I had chosen — but because they illustrate various of the mental vices from which we now suffer. They are a little below the average, but are fairly representative examples. I number them so that I can refer back to them when necessary:
1. I am not, indeed, sure whether it is not true to say that the Milton who once seemed not unlike a seventeenth-century Shelley had not become, out of an experience ever more bitter in each year, more alien [sic] to the founder of that Jesuit sect which nothing could induce him to tolerate.
Professor Harold Laski (Essay in Freedom of Expression)
2. Above all, we cannot play ducks and drakes with a native battery of idioms which prescribes egregious collocations of vocables as the Basic put up withfor tolerate, or put at a loss for bewilder.
Professor Lancelot Hogben (Interglossia)
3. On the one side we have the free personality: by definition it is not neurotic, for it has neither conflict nor dream. Its desires, such as they are, are transparent, for they are just what institutional approval keeps in the forefront of consciousness; another institutional pattern would alter their number and intensity; there is little in them that is natural, irreducible, or culturally dangerous. But on the other side, the social bond itself is nothing but the mutual reflection of these self-secure integrities. Recall the definition of love. Is not this the very picture of a small academic? Where is there a place in this hall of mirrors for either personality or fraternity?
Essay on psychology in Politics (New York)
4. All the ‘best people’ from the gentlemen’s clubs, and all the frantic fascist captains, united in common hatred of Socialism and bestial horror at the rising tide of the mass revolutionary movement, have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval legends of poisoned wells, to legalize their own destruction of proletarian organizations, and rouse the agitated petty-bourgeoise to chauvinistic fervor on behalf of the fight against the revolutionary way out of the crisis.
Communist pamphlet
5. If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is one thorny and contentious reform which must be tackled, and that is the humanization and galvanization of the B.B.C. Timidity here will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul. The heart of Britain may be sound and of strong beat, for instance, but the British lion’s roar at present is like that of Bottom in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream — as gentle as any sucking dove. A virile new Britain cannot continue indefinitely to be traduced in the eyes or rather ears, of the world by the effete languors of Langham Place, brazenly masquerading as ‘standard English’. When the Voice of Britain is heard at nine o’clock, better far and infinitely less ludicrous to hear aitches honestly dropped than the present priggish, inflated, inhibited, school-ma’amish arch braying of blameless bashful mewing maidens!
Letter in Tribune
Each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house. I list below, with notes and examples, various of the tricks by means of which the work of prose-construction is habitually dodged.
DYING METAPHORS. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically ‘dead’ (e. g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles’ heel, swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a ‘rift’, for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying. Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning without those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as tow the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would avoid perverting the original phrase.
OPERATORS OR VERBAL FALSE LIMBS. These save the trouble of picking out appropriate verbs and nouns, and at the same time pad each sentence with extra syllables which give it an appearance of symmetry. Characteristic phrases are render inoperative, militate against, make contact with, be subjected to, give rise to, give grounds for, have the effect of, play a leading part (role) in, make itself felt, take effect, exhibit a tendency to, serve the purpose of, etc., etc. The keynote is the elimination of simple verbs. Instead of being a single word, such as break, stop, spoil, mend, kill, a verb becomes a phrase, made up of a noun or adjective tacked on to some general-purpose verb such as prove, serve, form, play, render. In addition, the passive voice is wherever possible used in preference to the active, and noun constructions are used instead of gerunds (by examination of instead of by examining). The range of verbs is further cut down by means of the -ize and de- formations, and the banal statements are given an appearance of profundity by means of the not un- formation. Simple conjunctions and prepositions are replaced by such phrases as with respect to, having regard to, the fact that, by dint of, in view of, in the interests of, on the hypothesis that; and the ends of sentences are saved by anticlimax by such resounding commonplaces as greatly to be desired, cannot be left out of account, a development to be expected in the near future, deserving of serious consideration, brought to a satisfactory conclusion, and so on and so forth.
PRETENTIOUS DICTION. Words like phenomenon, element, individual (as noun), objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary, promote, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate, are used to dress up a simple statement and give an air of scientific impartiality to biased judgements. Adjectives like epoch-making, epic, historic, unforgettable, triumphant, age-old, inevitable, inexorable, veritable, are used to dignify the sordid process of international politics, while writing that aims at glorifying war usually takes on an archaic colour, its characteristic words being: realm, throne, chariot, mailed fist, trident, sword, shield, buckler, banner, jackboot, clarion. Foreign words and expressions such as cul de sac, ancien regime, deus ex machina, mutatis mutandis, status quo, gleichschaltung, weltanschauung, are used to give an air of culture and elegance. Except for the useful abbreviations i. e., e. g. and etc., there is no real need for any of the hundreds of foreign phrases now current in the English language. Bad writers, and especially scientific, political, and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like expedite, ameliorate, predict, extraneous, deracinated, clandestine, subaqueous, and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their Anglo-Saxon numbers(1). The jargon peculiar to Marxist writing (hyena, hangman, cannibal, petty bourgeois, these gentry, lackey, flunkey, mad dog, White Guard, etc.) consists largely of words translated from Russian, German, or French; but the normal way of coining a new word is to use Latin or Greek root with the appropriate affix and, where necessary, the size formation. It is often easier to make up words of this kind (deregionalize, impermissible, extramarital, non-fragmentary and so forth) than to think up the English words that will cover one’s meaning. The result, in general, is an increase in slovenliness and vagueness.
MEANINGLESS WORDS. In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning(2). Words like romantic, plastic, values, human, dead, sentimental, natural, vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly ever expected to do so by the reader. When one critic writes, ‘The outstanding feature of Mr. X’s work is its living quality’, while another writes, ‘The immediately striking thing about Mr. X’s work is its peculiar deadness’, the reader accepts this as a simple difference opinion. If words like black andwhite were involved, instead of the jargon words dead and living, he would see at once that language was being used in an improper way. Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’. The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.
Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to. This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one. I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:
I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Here it is in modern English:
Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.
This is a parody, but not a very gross one. Exhibit (3) above, for instance, contains several patches of the same kind of English. It will be seen that I have not made a full translation. The beginning and ending of the sentence follow the original meaning fairly closely, but in the middle the concrete illustrations — race, battle, bread — dissolve into the vague phrases ‘success or failure in competitive activities’. This had to be so, because no modern writer of the kind I am discussing — no one capable of using phrases like ‘objective considerations of contemporary phenomena’ — would ever tabulate his thoughts in that precise and detailed way. The whole tendency of modern prose is away from concreteness. Now analyze these two sentences a little more closely. The first contains forty-nine words but only sixty syllables, and all its words are those of everyday life. The second contains thirty-eight words of ninety syllables: eighteen of those words are from Latin roots, and one from Greek. The first sentence contains six vivid images, and only one phrase (‘time and chance’) that could be called vague. The second contains not a single fresh, arresting phrase, and in spite of its ninety syllables it gives only a shortened version of the meaning contained in the first. Yet without a doubt it is the second kind of sentence that is gaining ground in modern English. I do not want to exaggerate. This kind of writing is not yet universal, and outcrops of simplicity will occur here and there in the worst-written page. Still, if you or I were told to write a few lines on the uncertainty of human fortunes, we should probably come much nearer to my imaginary sentence than to the one from Ecclesiastes.
He thinksAs I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy. It is easier — even quicker, once you have the habit — to say In my opinion it is not an unjustifiable assumption that than to say I think. If you use ready-made phrases, you not only don’t have to hunt about for the words; you also don’t have to bother with the rhythms of your sentences since these phrases are generally so arranged as to be more or less euphonious. When you are composing in a hurry — when you are dictating to a stenographer, for instance, or making a public speech — it is natural to fall into a pretentious, Latinized style. Tags like a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind or a conclusion to which all of us would readily assent will save many a sentence from coming down with a bump. By using stale metaphors, similes, and idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself. This is the significance of mixed metaphors. The sole aim of a metaphor is to call up a visual image. When these images clash — as in The Fascist octopus has sung its swan song, the jackboot is thrown into the melting pot — it can be taken as certain that the writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is naming; in other words he is not really thinking. Look again at the examples I gave at the beginning of this essay. Professor Laski (1) uses five negatives in fifty three words. One of these is superfluous, making nonsense of the whole passage, and in addition there is the slip — alien for akin — making further nonsense, and several avoidable pieces of clumsiness which increase the general vagueness. Professor Hogben (2) plays ducks and drakes with a battery which is able to write prescriptions, and, while disapproving of the everyday phrase put up with, is unwilling to look egregious up in the dictionary and see what it means; (3), if one takes an uncharitable attitude towards it, is simply meaningless: probably one could work out its intended meaning by reading the whole of the article in which it occurs. In (4), the writer knows more or less what he wants to say, but an accumulation of stale phrases chokes him like tea leaves blocking a sink. In (5), words and meaning have almost parted company. People who write in this manner usually have a general emotional meaning — they dislike one thing and want to express solidarity with another — but they are not interested in the detail of what they are saying. A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. The 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. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.
Orwell2In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a ‘party line’. Orthodoxy, of whatever colour, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading articles, manifestos, White papers and the speeches of undersecretaries do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, homemade turn of speech. When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases — bestial, atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder — one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker’s spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved, as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favourable to political conformity.
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is calledpacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population orrectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, ‘I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so’. Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:
‘While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.’
The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find — this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify — that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years, as a result of dictatorship.
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better. The debased language that I have been discussing is in some ways very convenient. Phrases like a not unjustifiable assumption, leaves much to be desired, would serve no good purpose, a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind, are a continuous temptation, a packet of aspirins always at one’s elbow. Look back through this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against. By this morning’s post I have received a pamphlet dealing with conditions in Germany. The author tells me that he ‘felt impelled’ to write it. I open it at random, and here is almost the first sentence I see: ‘[The Allies] have an opportunity not only of achieving a radical transformation of Germany’s social and political structure in such a way as to avoid a nationalistic reaction in Germany itself, but at the same time of laying the foundations of a co-operative and unified Europe.’ You see, he ‘feels impelled’ to write — feels, presumably, that he has something new to say — and yet his words, like cavalry horses answering the bugle, group themselves automatically into the familiar dreary pattern. This invasion of one’s mind by ready-made phrases (lay the foundations, achieve a radical transformation) can only be prevented if one is constantly on guard against them, and every such phrase anaesthetizes a portion of one’s brain.
Applause-ClapI 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 and constructions. So far as the general tone or spirit of a language goes, this may be true, but it is not true in detail. Silly words and expressions have often disappeared, not through any evolutionary process but owing to the conscious action of a minority. Two recent examples were explore every avenue and leave no stone unturned, which were killed by the jeers of a few journalists. There is a long list of flyblown metaphors which could similarly be got rid of if enough people would interest themselves in the job; and it should also be possible to laugh the not un- formation out of existence(3), to reduce the amount of Latin and Greek in the average sentence, to drive out foreign phrases and strayed scientific words, and, in general, to make pretentiousness unfashionable. But all these are minor points. The defence of the English language implies more than this, and perhaps it is best to start by saying what it does not imply.
To begin with it has nothing to do with archaism, with the salvaging of obsolete words and turns of speech, or with the setting up of a ‘standard English’ which must never be departed from. On the contrary, it is especially concerned with the scrapping of every word or idiom which has outworn its usefulness. It has nothing to do with correct grammar and syntax, which are of no importance so long as one makes one’s meaning clear, or with the avoidance of Americanisms, or with having what is called a ‘good prose style’. On the other hand, it is not concerned with fake simplicity and the attempt to make written English colloquial. Nor does it even imply in every case preferring the Saxon word to the Latin one, though it does imply using the fewest and shortest words that will cover one’s meaning. What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around. In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is surrender to them. When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualising you probably hunt about until you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning. Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one’s meaning as clear as one can through pictures and sensations. Afterward one can choose — not simply accept — the phrases that will best cover the meaning, and then switch round and decide what impressions one’s words are likely to make on another person. This last effort of the mind cuts out all stale or mixed images, all prefabricated phrases, needless repetitions, and humbug and vagueness generally. But one can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails. I think the following rules will cover most cases:
  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
These rules sound elementary, and so they are, but they demand a deep change of attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the style now fashionable. One could keep all of them and still write bad English, but one could not write the kind of stuff that I quoted in those five specimens at the beginning of this article.
I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and others have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism. Since you don’t know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism? One need not swallow such absurdities as this, but one ought to recognise that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end. If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one’s own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase — some jackboot, Achilles’ heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse — into the dustbin where it belongs.
1) An interesting illustration of this is the way in which the English flower names which were in use till very recently are being ousted by Greek ones, snapdragon becoming antirrhinumforget-me-notbecoming myosotis, etc. It is hard to see any practical reason for this change of fashion: it is probably due to an instinctive turning-awayfrom the more homely word and a vague feeling that the Greek word is scientific.
2) Example: ‘Comfort’s catholicity of perception and image, strangely Whitmanesque in range, almost the exact opposite in aesthetic compulsion, continues to evoke that trembling atmospheric accumulative hinting at a cruel, an inexorably serene timelessness… Wrey Gardiner scores by aiming at simple bull’s-eyes with precision. Only they are not so simple, and through this contented sadness runs more than the surface bitter-sweet of resignation’. (Poetry Quarterly.
3) One can cure oneself of the not un- formation by memorizing this sentence: A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.