D-Speak or Not?

Doublespeak Examples

Examples of Euphemisms

  • categorical inaccuracy or terminological inexactitude: a lie
  • constructive dismissal, voluntary severance, vocational relocation, or career assignment and relocation: fired or laid off the job
  • senior citizen or the chronologically advantaged: old

Examples of Jargon

  • organoleptic analysis: the act of smelling something
  • fused silicate: glass
  • distributionally conservative notions: conservative economic policies

Example of Gobbledygook

Here's a classic piece of gobbledygook from Alan Greenspan. (It's OK to laugh when you read this. As Lutz mentions, if we all laughed at statements such as these, perhaps the people making the statements would be forced to quit.)
It is a tricky problem to find the particular calibration in timing that would be appropriate to stem the acceleration in risk premiums created by falling incomes without prematurely aborting the decline in the inflation-generated risk premiums.

Examples of Inflated Language

  • negative patient care outcome: the patient died
  • mental activity at the margins: insanity
  • reutilization marketing yard: junkyard

Example of Mixed Doublespeak

Sometimes the line between euphemism, jargon, and inflated language becomes blurred, as the following paragraph taken from Lutz's Doublespeak shows:

Teachers are "educators" these days, or "classroom mangers," or "learning facilitators" who possess effective "instructional delivery skills" which they demonstrate in "microteaching sessions." Teaching is called the "learning process" and learning is called "adjusted behavior." Students don't study, they spend "time on task" in their "learning environment."

Did you know that jargon and euphemism do not always fall under the category of doublespeak? Jump to Doublespeak or Not? for more information.

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©1998 by Michele Damron
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Last updated 4/30/98.