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  1. #1
    NewHopeR is offline Senior Member
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    Default Is the use "this obscurantism" proper here?

    Is the word obscurantism old-fashioned?

    Context:

    The incumbent rulers have been making effort to castrate our native language. And the imbeciles produced by this obscurantism then howl to anyone: Use our native language! And use it only! In Chinese forums! Because Chinese is one of the best languages in the world.
    The only fact they have been trying to hide is: The lanugage has been crippled online.

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Is the use "this obscurantism" proper here?

    I wouldn't say it's old-fashioned—just unusual enough to have readers reaching for a dictionary.

    As to whether it's 'proper' here. . . I suppose so.

    Rover

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Is the use "this obscurantism" proper here?

    I wouldn't call it old-fashioned either, though I'm not sure it's well-chosen. If it refers back to 'castration' there's nothing obscurantist about that. What might be obscurantist would be an argument along the lines of 'We mustn't import words. We must use native ones.' (Chinese is far from being alone in this; such arguments become fashionable every few years in the case of English. A notable case is known as The Inkhorn Controversy (but don't assume from that that the trend in favour of native words only happened in the 16th and17th centuries). And it's a recurring theme in the history of French - even leading to legislation: La Loi Toubon.

    If as a result of this obscurantist view damage is done to the language, you might for rhetorical purposes call that 'castration'. But castration is about cutting things out and obscurantism is about blacking things out (as you might have guessed from the first five letters).


    b
    Last edited by BobK; 16-Sep-2012 at 15:05.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Is the use "this obscurantism" proper here?

    If by castration, they mean a loss of clarity, then could it not be obscurantist?

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Is the use "this obscurantism" proper here?

    I wouldn't say so, or maybe... I'd say obscurantism referred to the views that led to the castration, rather than the effect of that castration.

    b

  6. #6
    NewHopeR is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Is the use "this obscurantism" proper here?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I wouldn't say so, or maybe... I'd say obscurantism referred to the views that led to the castration, rather than the effect of that castration.

    b

    Supposed you post some thread in Chinese forum containing "Tony Blair and George Osborne might be involved in the wrongdoing of..." and it appears as "*** and *** might be involved in the wrongdoing of..."
    Well, in a lot of Chinese forums, the names of any China's leaders will appear like this! The names will be blacked out and the readers have to pause and figure out them. Not only this, a host of Chinese characters, like revolution, Communist Party, demonstration, violence etc etc. will be substituted with ****** (Chinese readers humourously call them as stars) Google in its rage withdrew from China is one of the best examples of China's obscurantism. The excellence of Chinese language has been stained and endangered.
    Last edited by NewHopeR; 16-Sep-2012 at 16:56.

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