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| Doublespeak 1

The promotion of doublespeak is fundamentally a grab for power, and it can also be a heinous crime against humanity. When so-called doublespeak, mediaspeak or policyspeak words are used, there is an inherent danger of them causing a lack of consciousness in listeners, regarding the reality of the experience described. The most dangerous doublespeak terms are those associated with the military. For example, enhanced interrogation (which is really about the use of torture); or ethnic cleansing (which is really the murder of members of a particular ethnic group); or collateral damage (which is really the accidental murder of civilians by the military); or pre-emptive strike (which is really an unprovoked attack); or extra-judicial killing (which is really about the assassination of someone); or mission critical (which prioritises an event rather than people). Such words remove the actual experience from our direct knowledge or involvement, to one of a statistical or impersonal event, that intentionally creates ignorance and a lack of awareness in the public audience.

© Aaron John Beth’el

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