George Orwell did not actually coin the word 'doublespeak'. The word doublespeak was coined in the early 1950s. It is often incorrectly attributed to George Orwell and his dystopian, bleak novel 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. The word actually never appears in that novel; Orwell did, however, coin newspeak, oldspeak, and doublethink (holding simultaneously two opinions which cancel each other out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them) i.e. "Peace is War. War is Peace".
No one seems to epitomize doublethink or doublespeak more than our inimitable president who said yesterday. "Soon we'll have a nominee who will carry a conservative banner into this election and beyond. Listen, the stakes in November are high. This is an important election. Prosperity and peace are in the balance."
"Really? Does George W. Bush seriously want to argue that the nation should follow his direction in order to maintain "prosperity and peace"?
Where is this elusive "prosperity and peace"? And why is it hiding so well?''
This from the self-confessed 'war president' who wants to pass the baton on to John McCain whose 'straight talk' message is "there's going to be other wars". As to prosperity..the nation's retailers have just turned in their worst January in almost four decades, coming off the last quarter of 2007 which saw almost zero growth, 0.15% (0.6% annually adjusted). Former Federal Chairman Alan Greenspan says it is '50/50 or slightly more", that we have a recession this year.. To quote George Orwell in his 1946 essay "Politics and Language":
If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation, even among people who should and do know better..his words, like cavalry horses answering the bugle, group themselves automatically into the familiar dreary pattern. This invasion of one's mind by ready-made phrases ('freedom is on the march' 'prosperity and peace are in the balance') can only be prevented if one is constantly on guard against them, and every such phrase anaesthetizes a portion of one's brain.
That sums up listening to George W. Bush for seven years, the brains' of both the listerner and the speaker have become so anaesthetized to his repetitious 'global war on terror' and other vogue phrases that listener and speaker can no longer bother to discriminate. But doublespeak has caught on with other supine officials of the Bush administration..
This footnote from Friday's Washington Post,
Seems the Energy Department's Web site used to say that the Weatherization Assistance Program -- which helps low-income folks reduce their energy costs by weatherproofing their homes -- "is this country's longest running, and perhaps most successful energy efficiency program."
That's how things stood on Monday, when President Bush's budget was released and the program was eliminated. By Wednesday, an alert Energy Department aide had cut the "most successful" sentence. But committee staffers already had taken a screen grab of the old text and compared the two versions on a large graphic.
Committee Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) held up the graphic at the hearing, telling (Energy Secretary) Bodman it seemed that the department "instead of insulating the poor against high energy costs . . . is more concerned with insulating themselves against embarrassment."
Bodman said other programs simply "had higher rates of return" than that one.
Maybe if they'd just changed the "is" to "was" (which would have been more honest), no one would have noticed?
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