buy the ++ungood; T-shirt from cafepress
Still my favorite t-shirt of the decade.
-- James Duncan Davidson, 2006.


Exegesis: ++ungood; is a pun for programmers. It is both a valid computing statement (increment the variable called 'ungood' by one; the silent semicolon terminates the programming command, which can be seen running in the script on this webpage) and a reference to the term doubleplusungood from George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-four. The distressed font deliberately invokes both a typed manuscript and decay despite use of technology.


Exposition: I'm living in Hayes. My local is The Famous George Orwell, and its pub sign is, believe it or not, a still from the cartoon adaptation of Animal Farm -- of pigs, serenely gazing upward.

Eric Blair lived, for a while, in Hayes. He later envisioned the chilling urban dystopia of 1984. I cannot consider this a coincidence, but perhaps my jaundiced view has something to do with the burnt-out car someone left in front of my house. Orwell didn't like Hayes much either. Still, at least it's not Slough.

Orwell was concerned with Stalinism. With the advent of totalitarianism and the rewriting of history to which any victor has, by might, earned the right.

Had Our Eric experienced computing -- the visceral dread of reading, learning from, and trying to believe ever-changing documentation, of selective histories of problems soon glossed over with rewritten api's, releases, patches, and upgrades, leading to flickers of uncertainty, bewilderment, and distrust; the lossiness and decay of a technological history forever being discarded or recast to serve and suit the immediate needs of the present -- well, I think he might have stopped worrying about communism entirely. He'd be worrying about Apple.

We have a Newspeak of our own now. C may be renowned for its power and its expressiveness, but any language can be made the tool of an oppressor. We're in the C vocabulary outlined in 1984's appendix, and, with C++, C#, Swift, D, Javascript and Java cross-language compatibility, we can essay that ++ungood; is entirely valid in software.

Perhaps our softwear is even fashionable.

++ungood; T-shirt
Reading NTK and considering Oceania reminds me that I can never be certain of the true aims or rôle of O'Brien. What do I really need to know?

actual British engineers are more likely to be smoking a spliff than a pipe, and wearing a black T-shirt that says Plus Plus Ungood on the front instead of a labcoat, and even from time to time be women
-- Francis Spufford, True Stories: And Other Essays, 2017.

He snickers softly as he tucks in a T-shirt with ++ungood; across the front, whatever the hell that means.
-- Vaughn R. Demont, Community Service, 2013.

times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling
-- George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four, 1949.

Lloyd Wood
concept defined, 31 May 2002.