As Homer Simpson once said, “Weaselling outta things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals. Except the weasel.” Of course, this is unfair to the weasel, which is a very nice and very smart little creature indeed. George Orwell had a better term for the same concept: Newspeak.
i’m starting a collection of “weasel words” (in the terminology of the late great jean shepherd) or 1984 Newspeak. today’s entry is:
“workforce rebalancing initiative”
[NYC mayor Mike] Bloomberg weasel words for IBM laying off over 1300 workers…
Why, that sounds so pleasant! Rebalancing has to be a good thing, right?
What are your “favorite” weasel words?
I am particularly enraged by “PATRIOT Act,” which was anything but patriotic, and which set us on the path of “Homeland Security” and “Total Information Awareness” and this lovely bit of gobbledygook from the NSA, which states its “vision” as:
Global Cryptologic Dominance through Responsive Presence and Network Advantage.
Responsive presence! That’s just, like, being aware of your surroundings, no?
(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)