Thursday, June 16, 2022

NewSpeak in Russian has Become More Widespread and Insidious under Putin, Guseynov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 29 – Official manipulation of the Russian language, with the introduction of NewSpeak in which words are used inappropriately or replaced by others for political purposes has been going on for more than a century, but the situation has significantly deteriorated under Vladimir Putin, Gasan Guseynov says.

            The Paris-based Russian philologist argues that this has led to “the cancellation of Russian culture” because speakers of Russian have not been able to cope with this manipulation of language and hence of their ability to recognize what is going on and evaluate it successfully (россия/20220529-сто-лет-отмены-русской-культуры).

            The language Russians have been using since the start of Putin’s war in Ukraine is “a perfected variant of Soviet Russian language, which has experienced both so-called perestroika and the so-called post-Soviet era.” And this language makes analysis and discussion almost impossible for many.

            On February 24, Putin launched his massive invasion; and everyone saw that a war had begun. “But until now, Russian society has not been able to comprehend this” because the language it has gotten used to employing doesn’t allow for comprehension. Instead of killing, it talks about soaking in outhouse; “instead of murderer,” people “have learned to say president.

            For over a century and with especial emphasis in the last three months, Russians have had their minds emptied of real words and filled with “terminology” that does not allow thought. As a result, Russians don’t see that they “long ago cancelled their participation in Russian culture.” Instead they have adopted a newspeak that only encourages more crimes.

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