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To Scrape Acquaintance

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George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 (Bookshop|Amazon) conjured the indelible image of Big Brother, the terrifying personification of an authoritarian state where all of one’s actions and thoughts are monitored. The book also helped popularize the term doublespeak, meaning “language that appears to communicate but is actually designed to deceive.” In the text, Orwell also uses the verbal phrase scrape acquaintance, meaning “to strike up a relationship by careful effort and insinuation” — not so much starting a friendship as making a connection as a means to some other end. This is part of a complete episode.

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