George OrwellGeorge Orwell, [Eric Arthur Blair] (1903-1950) British author

George Orwell Quote

“It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face ... was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime ...”

George OrwellGeorge Orwell
~ George Orwell

his book, '1984'

Ratings and Comments

  • Reply
Anon    8/25/09

Who hasn't seen somebody that's acted suspiciously at some time in their life? The problem arises when some begin to think that all activity is suspicious. Suspicion is born of fear or concern that something is not right. We suspect our government and watch their body language and facial expressions too to see if their a source of what's not right. The only difference is that we don't have a law against those activities and our government doesn't need a law to make the decision of whether a facecrime has been committed or not. They just do it anyway and if they need a crime to charge the facecrimer with they'll pick one and see the evidence appears backing it up. This goes back to the scapegoat quote prior to this one.

jim k, austin

With political correctness running amok in our country, we are dangerously close to "face crimes" now.

J Carlton, Calgary

No where is this more prevalent than in Airports. Our government won't feel secure until it has us all metaphorically or even physically handcuffed and gagged. You "do" feel secure....don't you?

Anonymous, Sulfur

Remember in the '90's everyone was telling other people to smile. Billboards and Marquis had the words SMILE. The stupid belief that if everyone looked like everything was wonderful then it would actually be wonderful. Like the stupid idea of "positive thinking". Just think positive and things will be positive even if you take no action. How f___ing ridiculous. One father lost his child because the social worker said he still has anger lines in his forehead. Try an experiment. When a stranger asks you "how you doing" just answer "terrible" and see the reaction you get.

Felipe, São Paulo
  • Reply
Felipe, São Paulo Anonymous, Sulfur 7/19/19

Interesting idea. Maybe I'll do it someday.
Not sure if you enjoyed Orwell's quote or not. You see, he would have agreed with you, right?

Anonymous, Carno

Firstly, Orwell was very British. I doubt he would have spelled 'offense' quite like that :-) Secondly - Anonymous, Sulfur - An experiment for you. Unless one is very >awake< a typical reaction to attack is to attack back. The opposite is also true. Smile at someone and there is a strong chance that they will smile back. Random acts of kindness can have a hugely positive effect. Adult negativity usually comes from being criticised as a child - "you stupid boy" etc. Take a risk - be positive. Positive people are much more enjoyable to spend time with. :-)

E Archer, NYC

We are not permitted to smile now in identification photos so that the facial recognition software being employed in airports and other public areas can better identify us with video surveillance.

Anonymous, richmond,va

Paranoid atempts at using fiction works to prove a far reaching point is faceless, I have anxiety and have never hidden any type of tic,grimace or anything. We should be more concerned with real problems in the world, and dont need to rely on fiction a great medium to do that for us smile grimace get a grip.

Felipe, São Paulo
  • Reply
Felipe, São Paulo Anonymous, richmond,va 7/19/19

You clearly didn't understand anything about the quote. Maybe you should read the book. Orwell is talking about the lack of freedom, especially freedom of thought, in a totalitarian government of his dystopia. Please, read again, try to use that brain of yours and not try to relate everything to your personal history.

Ken, Allyn, WA

Conform! It's for the good of the State. And since when is fiction not a commentary on society as it really is, Anonymous, Richmond? No quote or passage "proves" anything. It's up to the reader to use common sense to see how close to reality the quote is. I would just say about this quote that we're not there...quite yet.

Elizabeth King, Manchester England

Have a look at this You Tube and tell me that one is paranoid. This new scanner at the airports will pick up any changes in facial expression and as the quote says 'A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety ....' you could than find yourself being a suspect.

Stephen, Toronto

And here were are in 2019, Nick Sandmann a Covington Catholic High School student has been found guilty by the media of facecrimes (& thus the mindless masses) simply by nervously smiling nervously while being confronted by an 'activist'.
It would almost be funny were it not for celebrities offering rewards to people would would attack him on film for them.
We've got lunatics in charge of our media & governments.

Mike, Norwalk

Trump Derangement Syndrome is but one example of how widespread and accurate the quote is. The forth branch (MSM) of the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land has taken full advantage of the quote's observation while advancing the realization thereof.

RBE, somewhere in the USA

So smile like hell and confuse the bastards!

Felipe, São Paulo

So interesting that his word seems to refer to a social network that would still take decades to arise. With Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley "big minds" riding (and leading) the train of political correctness, this exact word could come to exist in our universe, meaning exactly (or nearly) the same thing...


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