102: Discovering Doublespeak! (Part One) – The Euphemism

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With a focus on the misleading and manipulative language of the military, I discuss the first form of doublespeak: the euphemism.

Defining attributes of doublespeak:
-distorts reality
-pretends to communicate
-avoids or shifts responsibility
-makes the negative appear positive
-creates a false verbal map of the world
-limits, conceals, corrupts, and prevents thought
-makes the unpleasant appear attractive or tolerable
-creates incongruity between reality and what is said or not said

(William Lutz, Doublespeak)

Look Closer:

The Doublespeak Dictionary by Leslie Starr O’Hara

Doublespeak: From Revenue Enhancement to Terminal Living : How Government, Business, Advertisers, and Others Use Language to Deceive You, by William Lutz

Government by Euphemism, by Sheldon Richman

Rendition: a dangerous euphemism

Propaganda, American-style by Noam Chomsky

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