In Orwell’s 1984, an unper­son was some­one who offend­ed Big Broth­er and was hauled off by the Min­istry of Love for re-edu­ca­tion. Unper­sons did­n’t just dis­ap­pear; they were erad­i­cat­ed from his­to­ry. Any­one ask­ing ques­tions, much less mere­ly speak­ing the name of an unper­son, would suf­fer the same fate.

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