Cutting words: language and the “censor” in WW1.

censor crop imageFrom the early days of WW1, the Words in War-Time archive documents not only new words and meanings but usefully draws attention to strategic patterns of silence or obfuscation. Language proves a highly flexible tool, while communication – and what is communicated – can be deflected to widely different ends. Miscommunication and propaganda (as other posts explore) offer interesting illustration in this respect. This post, however, will focus on  the absence of words — and what is, in effect, the imposed failure of communication by which meaning is deliberately obscured, and words rendered vulnerable to excision. Continue reading

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