doublespeak


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Related to doublespeak: doublethink

doublespeak

Deliberately evasive, confusing, contradictory, and/or ambiguous language used to mislead or deceive the listener. Likely adapted from George Orwell's term "doublethink," from his 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, meaning the ability to simultaneously hold two opposing thoughts or beliefs as being correct in one's mind. Like any successful politician, she was quite adept at doublespeak whenever confronted with bad publicity.

double talk

1. Meaningless speech, gibberish mixing real and invented words. For example, Some popular songs are actually based on double talk. [1930s]
2. Also, doublespeak. Deliberately ambiguous and evasive language. For example, I got tired of her double talk and demanded to know the true story, or His press secretary was very adept at doublespeak. This usage dates from the late 1940s, and the variant from about 1950.
See also: double, talk
References in periodicals archive ?
Whereas in the past doublespeak was condemned, it is now common and accepted practice in American culture.
Of Paal's 1985 Veszprem direction she wrote, "Isabella's defiant silence [in rejection of the Duke] did receive an extra, thoroughly political connotation through the cultural, political and social surroundings of contemporary Hungary, a culture highly sensitive to forced silences, doublespeak and the interpretative technique of 'reading between the lines' " (160).
Is our government using doublespeak, a tactic governments use to repress citizens?
In an age of information overload, audiences don't have time to decipher techno-speak, doublespeak, acronyms and "make it up so I sound smarter than you"-speak.
But President Lula, in Britain last week on a state visit, could learn a thing or two about doublespeak smoke and mirrors from our Association of Chief Police Officers.
Weasle Words: The Dictionary Of American Doublespeak is an impressive and encompassing collection of thoughts and descriptively accurate views of modern American word and phrase usage.
In our church it is the episcopal cover-up and doublespeak on the issue of pedophilia and the attempt to deflect corruption by focusing on homosexuality.
In "Weasel Words: The Dictionary of American Doublespeak," University of Maryland professors Paul Wasserman and Don Hausrath shine the spotlight on language that obscures rather than illuminates.
Still, at least it's better than the usual council doublespeak.
In his latest version of Arnold doublespeak - say one thing but mean another - Schwarzenegger was ultimately pushed from behind the curtain by his well-heeled money handlers to publicly support Proposition 75.
Or, as some of the conference attendees speculated, is this Orwellian doublespeak intended to mask a lack of government commitment to tackling today's pressing environmental problems?
If the arrogance and doublespeak of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to date is anything to go by, the city council will be steam-rollered into submission.
The conference, "Plain Language: Adding Up the Benefits," will include speeches and presentations by Bryan Garner, author of Legal Writing in Plain English and Garner's Modern American Usage; Bill Sabin, author of the Gregg Reference Manual; Martin Cutts of England, author of the Oxford Guide to Plain English; and William Lutz, author of Doublespeak.
In an effort to be balanced with regard to the doublespeak dance, I should mention a new group in Washington with a name that surely couldn't offend: Communities for Quality Education.
With all due respect, I think that 1984 and the concept of doublespeak might be a better analogy than the Stepford Wives, at least as far as the Journal goes.