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Blogging Thucydides (III): A great line about how revolution deforms language

Describing the evil effects of revolution, Thucydides writes, "Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them." (P. 199 of the Landmark edition) That’s an insight that strikes me as true, and that I don’t remember seeing before.  Though Orwell’s wonderful essay on the language of politics makes ...

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Describing the evil effects of revolution, Thucydides writes, "Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them." (P. 199 of the Landmark edition)

That’s an insight that strikes me as true, and that I don’t remember seeing before.  Though Orwell’s wonderful essay on the language of politics makes a similar point. (If you haven’t read that, you should. You have my permission to take off the rest of the day to study it.)

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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