Archaeology and the English Language


This is a guest blog I did for my crowdfunding friends at DigVentures. It’s very serious indeed and should provide some useful material for undergraduate dissertations. The picture is particularly worthy of mention. The duck is called Mephistopheles, or Quacky, for short. Are your appetites whetted? Now read on:

George Orwell and friend

Sloppy writing leads to sloppy thinking. And that’s why every archaeologist needs to read George Orwell’s timeless essay ‘Politics and the English Language’.

About three weeks ago I was walking across Soho Square, thinking about the possibility of getting seriously involved with a bowl of Udon noodles, when a familiar figure stepped – I won’t say strode, as he had stumbled rather unsteadily – out of a pub. It was Alan Cadbury. Being a very disciplined sort of person, I mentioned what was on my mind, viz., noodles. And Alan gave me the blankest of blank stares. It was the sort of look you give people who casually mention noodles when you’re both standing in the middle of a dark peat Fen field that once formed the bed of Whittlesey Mere.

Anyhow, and to cut what is developing into an extended tale short, it would appear that Alan had spent the first part of the day with Maiya at DigVentures’ HQ in Bethnal Green Road. It would seem they’d been talking about badly-written archaeology and hit upon the idea of a blog taking George Orwell’s wonderful 1946 essay ‘Politics and the English Language’ as its starting point. Being Alan, he had of course agreed. And with exuberant enthusiasm. Which made Maiya smile hugely. Smiles all round.

Now read on at the DigVentures website (dot, dot, dot)

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