In George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, one character, discussing state control over the spoken word, says: “It’s a beautiful thing, this destruction of words.”
In the nightmare world of Newspeak, “war” became “peace”, for example.
All this came to mind on reading of the SNP’s “victory” in banning the perfectly accurate word “separation” for the process it described in a Westminster parliamentary debate (your reports, 13, 14 February).
We now wait for the SNP apparatchiks, spin doctors and orchestrated letter writers to tell us that voting No in the referendum actually means Yes; that breaking up actually means putting together and that the destruction of a centuries- old and eminently successful union of countries and making our fellow islanders foreigners really means making the union stronger.
What is next? Egotistical, bombastic leaders are really self-effacing and humble?
The SNP is creating an Orwellian nightmare before our very eyes.
New Cut Rigg
The word “separate” is not a pejorative. Dictionaries have it meaning the same as “independent”.
The SNP has realised that separation is a step too far for the great majority of voters and in its desperation is objecting to the use of the word.
It’s transparent and paranoid in the extreme.
It is members of the SNP who excel in the use of pejoratives when they regularly talk of “Tory toffs”, “Westminster snobs”, “Eton posh boys” and “Lord Snooties.
“Separate, separation, separating” are all words which I use regularly when discussing the referendum on independence.
I do not regard these words as “pejorative”, “leading” or “impartial”.
I personally will continue to use these words, not just because the Nationalists do not like them (although that in itself is reason enough) but because in my opinion they describe the position correctly in a completely unbiased way.
The referendum is a process whereby the Nationalists seek to separate Scotland from the other countries which comprise the UK in order to become independent of them.
They presumably object to the use of that word because it makes too clear to the electorate what is involved if Scotland is to become independent.
However, they must have a very low opinion of the intelligence of the electorate if they believe that they do not understand what independence actually entails.
Braid Farm Road
This debate about the word “separation” is annoying and a distraction from the real issues.
I am waiting for some answers from the SNP about the potential shape of an independent Scotland. This is a waste of time.