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May I suggest this article be deleted, or at the very least heavily copy-edited? It is written in a language that is very difficult to understand ― I showed it to (other) people who have a deep knowledge of linguistics, and there was overall agreement that the article fails to explain what 'doublespeak' is in a way that is comprehensible to, well, anyone. Also, it gives not a single example of the phenomenon. (talk) 06:41, 9 January 2009 (UTC) Wondering if doublespeak haven't more to do with equivocation and/or amphibology than euphemism ?

This is an excellent article; however, it is biased. Bringing up Nazi's as a source of double speak is fine, but immediately following this example is a 1) conservative 2) Republican 3) hopeful presedential candidate. This links the idea of Nazi's and concentration camps with Newt Gingrich. It also describes Gingrich's views as "couching [a] radical agenda."

Tony Blair, Newt Gingrich, and Nazi's... all sources of "doublespeak" Is that really fair?

If that is fair game, why not also throw in Barack Obama's plan for "de-escalation of troop levels" - or for that matter the Democrats' plans for a "phased re-deployment" - which both really mean withdraw.

If we are going to single out one side, shouldn't we also point out the other side as well, to be fair?

Pro-choice truly mean pro-infanticide... even pro-murder.

The nazi part should definitly be moved, and the common examples should either be more balanced or removed altogether.

the Nazi examples should be under the headline "History" rather than "current usage". Believe it or not.-- 23:18, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Double speak also is an artifact that occurs when Audio signals are compressed. -> see Compression artifact

I'm tempted to remove the entry in the miltary subsection about friendly fire. I don't think the term is "doublespeak" as it isn't mean to deceive or mislead--the point of most military terms is brevity, clarity, and ease of use--the armed forces did not begin calling it "friendly fire" to change the meaning of the incident, but instead to clarify it easily from "enemy fire." Any objections? Mance

I guess most people now know the meaning, and accept it without snickering, which lessens its use as an euphemism. 14:51, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I removed this line:

  • shock and awe: when used for "anti-terrorist" operations, despite the direct synonymy of "shock and awe" to "terror".

Shock and awe is not specifically related to counterterrorism in any way, and even a skimming of the article on the principle would show that the name of it is not meant to be deceptive in the least--the purpose is to shock and awe enemies into submission. --Mance

There's clearly a lot more to say here, not the least of which is that while the examples chosen certainly can be double-speak, they aren't necessarily. Sometimes war is defense (at least on one side). Sometimes rebels are fighting for freedom (though I certainly agree that most of them are just fighting to replace the current oppressive regime with their own oppressive regime). Also, not all doublespeak is propaganda: sometimes it is evasive speech used to protect one's privacy or deceive for other reasons. --Lee Daniel Crocker

Yup. I'm happily leaving this entry provocatively brief so that others will contribute to it. --The Cunctator

Orwell wrote an essay regarding Newspeak which is usually published as an appendix to 1984. That's the place to go for whoever wants to shore this article up.

I believe the point of doublespeak is that a phrase can have two meanings which contradict one another, saving the speaker from the need of meaning anything specific or reconciling internal contradictions. - Tim

That is doublethink, not doublespeak. --TheCunctator

I like the human intelligence: spies one. It reminds me of the accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy by the US gvmnt. A press release was put out to say this happened due to 'Lack of proper Intelligence', Paul Merton quipped that it was nice of them to admit it. -- sodium

  • taxpayer: citizen
Similarly, the usage of the phrase taxpayer to refer to a citizen of some state or nation implies that the primary role of a citizen is to pay taxes, or more generally, that the social contract (again, a term with a particular bias) between citizen and state is primarily economic.

I'm deleting this again, because I fail to see how it qualifies. Yes, it serves an agenda, and might qualify as a propaganda term, but it is compeltely accurate and descriptive, not deceptive or evasive in any way. If you want to put it back, convince me here that it deserves to be called "doublespeak". Doublespeak terms evade the realities rather than accentuating them. --LDC

It's certainly not completely accurate and descriptive--it implies that that the social contract between citizen and state is primarily economic. And it's not, at least not historically. That implication is very deceptive. And the term has enjoyed an explosion in recent use as corporate/political institutions reshape the understanding of the relationship between citizen and state--and that's why I included it here. The terms on the list are doublespeak within a particular context--sometimes they're neologisms, coined to dissemble (collateral damage), but often they're perfectly good words, redefined or recontextualized (intelligence, taxpayer).

Perhaps my definition of doublespeak is too broad, and there should be a category called propaganda term or something. I'd appreciate if instead of just deleting taxpayer, you put it where you think it belongs. And should the burden of proof be on me ("If you want to put it back, convince me...") or on you?

I'm asserting that taxpayer for citizen is as much doublespeak as terrorist for armed rebel. If one isn't doublespeak, neither should the other. Conversely, if terrorist is doublespeak, then so is taxpayer. --TheCunctator

The word taxpayer means someone who pays taxes, and when used in a discussion of government revenues does not have the drastic implications listed above, which only come in when one starts using the term interchangeably with citizen - the military is there to protect the taxpayers and such. Even then it isn't doublespeak, and neither is terrorist, nor the majority of the entries on the current list.

A reply to me from alt.usage.english [1]


I looked at both. The "Euphemism" article seems unobjectionable, but it's so terse as to be little more than a dictionary definition. The examples given in the "Doublespeak" article seem mostly inconsistent with the definition you give of the term, because most of them are not of words used "contrary" to their true meaning. For example, "secret" does not contradict "classified," nor does "wet work" contradict "assassination." Most of your list is a bunch of bureaucratic euphemisms, nothing more.

Also, the Department of Defense (assuming you mean the one in the US) was formed by a merger of the pre-existing War Department and Navy Department (I believe those to be the correct names). I don't deny that the DOD is there to wage war (and therefore affords perhaps the one indisputable example of doublespeak in your entire list), but your history is a bit off.

Note that doublespeak is not the same as the Orwellian term of doublethink, which refers to words that mean the exact opposite of their meaning, but refers to words that are deliberately used in a way to disguise their meaning, usually by governmental or corporate institutions.


I removed examples from 1984, because they are about Newspeak, not doublespeak; the words have quite different meanings. Yet another word, which actually precedes Orwell's novel, is "doubletalk" and it has yet another slightly different meaning; I'm not sure this is worth mentioning in the article.--AV

Thanks for the info...if you could write an entry on doubletalk or doublthink that would be great.

I'm not sure it needs one... Wikipedia is not a dictionary. There isn't much to say about the word "doubletalk" beyond what's in the dictionary. --AV

I'm using the definition of doublespeak exactly as in this page, (which I found only wasn't an inspiration). --TheCunctator

I disagree with the idea that string words together is doublespeak - I was associated it with words like Peacemakers, the various Departments in 1984 etc. Wikipedia really is anwiki encyclopedia. In other words, in the latter there is no saying something with an alternate meaning. The Department of (IIRC) Truth was not really about truth. Nazi's really were nationalists and socialists; if they had called themselves the Freedom Party then it could be considered doublespeak. - Eean

Certaintly the Nazi's were nationalists, but I think (and many would agree) that their calling themselves socialists was doublespeak. Nazi policies as actually implemented were on the whole favourable to German industrialists, and most of the semi-socialist policies of their earlier years were quitely dropped upon assuming power. -- SJK
I disagree with that interpretation, socialist in the "Nazi" context means "collectivist", or the idea that the individual should be sacrified for the benefit of the majority... Even if Nazis persecuted communists, their ideas were basically the same (see Hannah Arendt's "The Origins of Totalitarianism"), I think the National socialism example should be removed --Gyakuun
I agree completely with Gyakuun. The Nazis were socialists in that they pursued economic policies beneficial to workers analogous to those of Keynes. Hitler was responsible for the Volkswagen, the automobile that ordinary people could afford. (The Volk in Volkswagen is the Volk in the Nazi slogan: Das Einzelne ist nichts. Das Volk ist alles. -- "The individual is nothing. The national, racial group is everything." American consumers were as good at accepting the Volkswagen as the American space program was good at enlisting the services of Werner von Braun.)
Furthermore, since in German 'National Socialism' is one word, it was understood that national socialism was not something like socialism "for one nation", but something new and different. So it is not in the least doublespeak. I was going to restrict myself to proposing that the term be removed from the entry, but since Gyakuun has already proposed that it be removed, I shall do so. -- Hyperion 07:59, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Socialism is very different from Fascism; as a matter of fact, they are essentially opposites. Fascism favors the state (or, in the case of the Nazis, the Race), with generally little concern for the actual well-being of the people. Socialism focuses on providing for the people, in food and care. The only common thread is when socialism is national -- but that's only in comparison to international socialism, similar to the ideas of Trotsky.

I disagree with the 'intelligence' examples:

  • intelligence: spies or secrets
  • human intelligence: spies

Intelligence in this context means 'important information' as in military intelligence: information of importance to the military (usually about enemies or threats). (The use of military intelligence as an example of an oxymoron is a pretty good joke, implying that the military is stupid, but it bears on another meaning of 'intelligence'.

Also, human intelligence is not the spies themselves, but the information they gather.

I propose using 'intelligence agents' as more accurate doublespeak for spies and omitting 'human intelligence'. Ed Poor

On taxpayer : citizen I've seen the same sort of usage with voter:citizen implying _that_ to be the primary matter of importance in the social contract (or usually implying that that is all they're good for, either voting for you or paying for whatever the government wants to buy; aside from that they're a nuisance.

Other example that comes to mind is citizen : non-criminal (vs perp) - the victim or bystander in a criminal matter. But I'm not sure if or how that applies here. -jusftred

If Gestapo / Geheime Staatspolizei is doublespeak, then so is FBI / Federal Bureau of Investigation. In both cases, the common term is just an abbreviation, (by initials in English, by syllables in German) of the longer, non-deceptive term.

I don't see how either one of them is doublespeak. Abbreviations are used because they're easier to say, not to mislead. Is "TV" doublespeak for "television"? —Eric
I agree with you. The article, however, states (as an uncontested fact) that doublespeak includes "Nazi, Gestapo, FBI, Comintern, Inprecor, Agitprop -- abbreviations which disguise the meaning of the origin words." I added FBI, as it is exactly parallel to Gestapo. --the Epopt
Well, then, neither "Gestapo" nor FBI should be there. —Eric
True, and by the same reasoning, neither should Nazi, Comintern, Inprecor, or Agitprop. The whole idea that an abbreviation of a perfectly clear name is "doublespeak" is doublepluswack.

Nazi, Gestapo, Comintern, Inprecor, and Agitprop were given as examples of B vocabulary of Newspeak by Orwell. "FBI" is not exactly parallel to "Gestapo"--"Gestapo" is a word, whereas FBI is not. There is, however, a correspondence. --TheCunctator

Removed these examples:

abbreviations which disguise the meaning of the origin words, namely
    • Nationalsozialismus (National Socialism)
    • Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police)
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • Communist International
    • International Press Correspondence
    • Agitatsiya Propaganda (Agitational Propaganda)

Justification see above. Calypso

I thought wet work was so-called because you got your hands bloody and hence wet. Or am I just extrapolating meaning where there is none? Martin

This page has a fork on Disinfopedia, what is the preferred course of action in this situation? the other version seems more comprehensive. Personally, I don't like this.. Rotem Dan 11:57 Apr 15, 2003 (UTC)

I'm not entirely sure if capital punishment should go here. This isn't anything new, the term has existed for many years and I don't think it really counts as a form of doublespeak. Chrism 18:05, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I added a new explanation re taxpayer in place of "However, using the term interchangeably with citizen - the military is there to protect the taxpayers - implies that the primary role of a citizen is to pay taxes, or more generally, that the social contract (again, a term with a particular bias) between citizen and state is primarily economic." I don't feel the preceding explains why doublespeakers really use the word. Nurg 04:46, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Should "ordinance" in the first example be "ordnance" ? Julianp 03:51, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Yes, it should. --Taak 16:54, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

No, the Germans did not occupy Austria. The Austrians welcomed Nazism and shared in it enthusiastically. They were delighted to join themselves to Germany.

New suggestions for entry[edit]

I would suggest that the Bush admininstration deserves entries in doublespeak for the following:

-Healthy Forests Initiative (concerned with increasing logging rights)

-Clear Skies Act (among other things, it does not count CO2 as a pollutant, despite it being the sole aim of the Kyoto protocol. The law repeals portions of the Clean Air act. Consult the Wikipedia article for it)

-The War on Terrorism (applies to the current target, once Osama Bin Laden, now Saddam Hussein - who has since been found not to have any links to Al Quada or possess any Weapons of Mass Destruction)

-The No Child Left Behind Act (has numerous issues, you can consult the Wikipedia article for it)

No. Wikipedia should remain neutral. Only add examples of doublespeak that a conservative would agree is doublespeak. 14:51, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Also, the word 'engage' (to attack or kill the enemy. The word 'kill' is never used in the military)

Sure it is. Fighter pilots boast of their confirmed kills, as do snipers, sometimes in official press releases. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:22, 5 January 2007 (UTC).

I suggest that the term 'conservative' itself as used by the Bush administration to describe itself is doublespeak. Conservatism implies gradual, organic change and conserving the social institutions that already exist, and renounces ideology. Since FDR gave America the New Deal, a true conservative would want to preserve the institutions of the New Deal, such as Social Security. But Bush wants to destroy Social Security for ideological reasons -- his free-market philosophy. To call this conservatism is doublespeak if anything is: much more so than any examples from Nazi Germany that are in the entry (which are really euphemisms).

No. Wikipedia should remain neutral. Only add examples of doublespeak that a conservative would agree is doublespeak. 14:51, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Another glaringly obvious example is the term "right to life", employed by people who want the state to drastically intervene in women's lives, do not believe that the state should take measures to make its citizens' lives worth living, and, as a rule, favor the death penalty. -- Hyperion 08:39, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

No. Wikipedia should remain neutral. Only add examples of doublespeak that a anti-abortionist would agree is doublespeak. 14:51, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

It seems to me as if "insurgent" is being used in the current war as a way to suggest that the troops are coming from outside Iraq. This word does not seem to have much previous usage. btw, you notice Bush has dropped the Texan accent? --Llamatron 00:54, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

'Insurgent' has been used for decades by American policy makers and political scientists to describe people actively opposed (through acts of violence) to regimes currently supported by the US. The term does not imply that the people causing the trouble come from outside the country in question. -- Hyperion 08:39, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Actually though insurgent is an interesting case because the dictionary definition is someone who is a political dissident, not someone who uses guerilla tactics. Theshibboleth 08:49, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

for the nazis, Sonderbehandlung (special treatment) meant execution. maybe somebody can add it here.--Sonjaaa 22:53, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)

During the Vietnam war, "termination with extreme prejudice" was used as a term for execution. So what? Both the German and the American terms were ironic euphemisms, not doublespeak. -- Hyperion 08:39, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"Extraordinary rendition" sounds like a good candidate here... making torture and execution without a trial sound like an awesome guitar solo... 20:38, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Is 'doublespeak' a word, or is Wikipedia creating it?[edit]

Because of my erroneous memory, I thought that 'doublespeak' actually appeared and hence was defined in 1984. But from the Wikipedia entry, I learn that it "was coined in the early 1950s", and is "often incorrectly attributed to George Orwell" (as was done by me). If this is the case, it is especially critical that the entry state who first introduced the term. Does the book given in the references section clear this up?

Someone should look up the word in the full, twenty-volume or so Oxford Dictionary of English. That dictionary is unique for giving citations of where words were first used, as far as anyone has been able to determine.

It's true that one can get a good sense of what 'doublespeak' must mean by extrapolating from 1984's doublethink, but doing so runs the danger of developing the concept out of thin air, as opposed to reporting how it was actually used historically. -- Hyperion 09:35, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

No, I do not think Wikipedia is creating the word. 14:51, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

If I recall correctly, "Doubletalk" is the more common term. (talk) 21:48, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Doubletalk is a much older term, and is simply confusing use of English. "Doublespeak" I had never heard of before, but it seems to be the same as "Doublethink" from 1984. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 21:52, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Doublethink, from OED[edit]

"doublethink [Coined by ‘George Orwell’ (see quot. 1949) from DOUBLE a. 5 + THINK n.]

The mental capacity to accept as equally valid two entirely contrary opinions or beliefs.

1949 ‘G. ORWELL’ Nineteen Eighty-Four I. iii. 37 His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy. 1953 Encounter Nov. 26/1 He will react..either with straight abuse or with devious double-think. 1957 T. KILMARTIN tr. Aron's Opium of Intellectuals 119 How can one condemn the Soviet Union, since the failure of the Bolshevik enterprise would be the failure of Marxism and therefore of history itself? This is an admirable piece of philosophical double-think, typical of our latter-day intelligentsia. 1959 Daily Tel. 13 Nov. 12/2 They ask for increases in wages which are plainly impossible; or they pretend they want a shorter working week when they really want more overtime. Their followers know double-think when they see it, as well as the employers. 1969 New Scientist 2 Oct. 18/1 This symposium exhibited a form of intellectual doublethink that could pay lip service to global starvation one minute, and assume Britain would always be able to import most of her food the next."

Quoted to give context from the OED, though doublespeak is not in the OED. It is my impression, from the way I have heard it used and the way I use it myself, is that doublespeak has to connote two things that are in conflict with one another, something like an oxymoron. Given that, I don't think doublespeak has to refer to a single word, as is implied by the article now, and in fact I would find it difficult to refer to a single word as doublespeak. Phrases are much more likely to be able to qualify. I agree that single words would probably qualify as euphamism or oxymoron. An example of doublespeak to me is (not to further politicize this, but it is what is on my mind right now) "We intend to spread democracy to the world. We are giving General Musharraf and Pakistan (a military dictatorship that overthrew a democratic government) a few dozen F-16s." I agree that the vast majority of examples on this page probably ought to be removed. Some of the words may also be classified as examples of ironic usage.

Doublespeak is now in the OED--it redirects to double-talk, defined as: Verbal expression intended to be, or which may be, construed in more than one sense; deliberately ambiguous or imprecise language; used esp. of political language that is subject to arbitrary national or party interpretation.

First used: 1948, W. H. Auden Age of Anxiety vi. 125 And all species of space respond in our own Contradictory dialect, the double talk Of ambiguous bodies. (talk) 02:58, 5 May 2013 (UTC)


I'm not sure about the equation of 'pro-choice' with 'pro-abortion'. Where pro-life and anti-choice are indeed the same (a pro-life person seeks total or as near total as possible illegalization of the choice of abortion), 'pro-abortion' implies that the person believes abortion is a morally superior choice, equal to or greater than giving birth.

  • It need not be an exact "equation". The point of doublespeak is that words are used in a deliberately obfuscatory meaning, in order to obscure or hide what they are meant to refer to. The language of pro-choice, including "choice" for the choice to have an abortion and "fetus" for an unborn child up until the moment of birth, is replete with "code-word" style language.

Tommythegun 08:36 19 October 2005 (UTC)


This article seems very messy, espescially considering there is seemingly no order to the example entries. I'm going to start alphabetizing them.

Also, reading the talk page here, I find it extremely ironic that doublespeak has become so engrained in our culture that we don't even recognize it for what it is. Theshibboleth 08:54, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

All the more important to have this Wiki entry, and provide lots of genuine examples, while staying neutral. :) 14:51, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Concentration camps[edit]

I'm not about to mess with such a big and controversial article at four in the morning, but the term "concentration camp" is not a Nazi invention. The concept was created by the British in the second Boer War, where they concentrated the population into camps so the battlefield could be nice and clear for their armies... the large number of deaths was more or less accidental. --Ahruman 02:04, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Please say so. On the concentration camp page, that is. (But I'm sure you won't have to). As regards to THIS subject, I'm sure you'll agree the Nazi usage of the term is almost the definition of double-speak, considering the enormous impact on world history. 14:51, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Some dubious entries[edit]

Some of the entries in this list are a bit dubious.

I agree. Wikipedia should remain neutral. Remove examples that are made up by comedians or opponents of current policy makers. The point is that entries should have been used by those in power in a way that consensus about their duplicitory status can be had. 14:51, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, a euphemism for operational exhaustion, euphemism for battle fatigue, a euphemism for shell shock. Used as an example of dehumanization of language (particularly by the American comedian George Carlin). The terms were used in the Vietnam War, Korean War, World War II and World War I respectively. Note, however, that Post-traumatic stress disorder is also triggered by other traumatic events, such as rape.

PTSD propaganda rather than a legitimate term? Citations please?

  • potential future terrorists: children

Only two hits for .il and .gov, none involving euphemisms, and none for .mil.

  • bombs which kill civilians are, according to The Pentagon, "incontinent ordnance" (Lutz)

No hits for .mil, only hits for .gov are from, pages talking about euphemisms.

  • campaign contribution, donation, fund raiser: bribery of public officials

Heh. NPOV-uncompliant, to use an euphemism.

  • special interests, foreign interests: representatives and lobbyists of businesses dealing in oil, diamonds, gold, and other profitable resources abroad

Too narrow a definition for "special interests", and NPOV-uncompliant for foreign interests.

  • disturbing the peace, noise pollution, slander, defamation, treason, inciting a riot, public speaking without a permit: free speech

NPOV-uncompliant. Andjam 08:09, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

It may be possible that "incontinent ordnance" was once used but not any more, but if so, change the tense. Andjam 08:12, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

This whole article is a POV magnet[edit]

And it will probably always be as long as the page stays in this format.

I don't think this page should list every euphemism in existence. Some classic, agreed-upon examples of doublespeak would be good, and a discussion of where doublespeak is used and its effects on political discourse.

"Pro-life" and "pro-choice" do not belong here; they're self-chosen political labels for the groups they represent, and also including them here is the worst POV magnet of all. RSpeer 03:56, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

  • "Pro-life" and "pro-choice" belong here exactly because they are self-chosen political labels. Both terms are intended to convey something beyond their literal meaning, or to obscure something about their meaning. Just because they're controversial doesn't mean that they ought not be included. Tommythegun 08:38 19 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Doublespeak is not just about euphemisms, it's about euphemisms used by the government to mislead people. Even if you believe "life" and "choice" are euphemisms - though I notice you're putting one in the article and not the other - they're still not doublespeak. RSpeer 13:50, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
    • The government is not the only entity mentioned here. Notice that references are made to business, social, political and sports uses. The essential character of doublespeak is that it is language constructed to obscure. So put "life" if you feel obliged. Tommythegun 06:47 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I get the impression that you are motivated by POV, not by improving this article, since you keep on adding only "choice". And no, this doesn't mean that "life" should go in as well. I cannot see any possible way this article would be improved by adding "choice" and "life" to the list.

The list is already far too long, and the way to improve it is either by removing entries or by adding examples that are such clear, incisive examples of doublespeak that they overshadow the others. Labels in the abortion debate do not qualify. RSpeer 06:07, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Then ought I trust you to remove the unclear, non-incisive examples? Or merely this particular one? Tommythegun 10:38 21 October 2005 (UTC)
You may notice that I had been doing a lot of that, but then I got sidetracked because a POV pusher kept putting one of them back. RSpeer 13:09, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
RSpeer, I agree completely with you and will revert additions of abortion labels on sight. Adding them is terribly POV. They are not doublespeak and have no place here. TomTheHand 12:50, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Now who's engaging in POV? Tommythegun 10:37 21 October 2005 (UTC) are. And I'm stating my intention to attempt to preserve NPOV on the page. TomTheHand 12:11, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

This is one of the worst articles I have ever seen. Virtually none of the examples are double speak. Just because you don't like something doesn't make it doublespeak. "Terminating" meaning ending employment is NOT doublespeak because the regular meaning of the word is not the exact opposite of meaning "ending employment" (on the contrary, it is very accurately descriptive). Nor does a vast majority of the stuff here meet the proper definition of doublespeak. I'm reluctant to start over because of futility; seems people would just change it back. You want real political doublespeak? In the tax world, "vertical equity" means unequal taxes.

You're entirely right about how bad this article has become. Even if starting over is futile, it's worth a try, because deleting most of this "information" can only be an improvement.
What I've done is to remove all of the lists entirely, because those accomplished nothing except to encourage two-centage and POV pushing. I put what I considered the clearest examples into paragraphs. rspeer 17:57, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

This seems to be a poorly edited article, with many examples that are not, by its own definition, "Doublespeak". this may only be so if "Doublespeak" means "with a somewhat different meaning to what someone else attributes to the term". The example in the article of "concentration camp" illustrates this point. It has a history of usage, deriving from the Boer War, a place where group of people are concentrated, it is not at all clear that the Nazi usage that it is an attempt to decribe the activity in the opposite (which "doublespeak" implies) (in any case what is teh German usage - it could be as much a translation/transliteration issue). Furhtermore, "taxpayer" is a clearly defined term with a different meaning to "citizen". Many taxpayers are not citizens, and vice versa. Just becuase it has an economic meaning does not make it doublespeak, in many circulstances the economic meaninf is most appropriate (eg talking about taxes or spending). This article will only have a neutral POV if it contrains itself to the more egregrious and obvious examples of doublespeak, rathter than trying to capture every example of where a word can be perceived to have different meaning. - James, Orwell lover.

This is the first time I have read this article, and I found it quite informative. Reading through the above discussion it certainly sounds like it has been a lot of work, but I think the current version is shaping up to be fairly neutral. I'm going to remove the redlink in the see also box, though. We can put it back when there's an article to link to. Cyanotic 20:13, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Of course there should be lots of examples! Otherwise it's a wikidictionary entry. The whole point of coming here is to have a good-sized list of double-speak entries (that meets the NPOV, of course) 14:51, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Am I wrong?[edit]

I would think doublespeak would not mean the opposite of what it sounds like- but would have a double meaning that allows it to mean BOTH the intended meaning and it's opposite, allowing you to pretend that your meaning is the opposite of what it is. For expample, the word 'mind' can mean to watch over or to obey, so someone could say something like "mind the politicians" would be doublespeak. You will likely hear it the way you want to and ignore other possible meanings.

Added quality warning templates[edit]

I just added "CleanupConfusing|December 2006" and "contradict" templates.

This article is nearly incoherent. There's a section on israli description of wars, and then a lower paragraph argues the point. This, simply put, is terrible. This article probably needs to be re-written, the examples are unclear, the prose is confusing, and i do not have a clear idea what doublespek is and is not.

Saying that this article contradicts itself is...ironic? Doublespeak in itself? Just plain weird? --CCFreak2K 16:18, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Here is the quote: "Doublespeak is commonly used when reporting on events in Palestine Occupied Territories . 30th July 2006, Israel hit a building in Qana, Lebanon, killing 34 children. The Associated Press story reporting the killing of these children was headlined "34 youths among 56 dead in Israeli strike" (The text of the story correctly reported that the victims were children. Yet it was youths headline was also used by many outlets that carry AP stories.[1] Many reporters already declared that military age males are terrorists. [2] The women are collaborators.[3] The infrastructure is all command and control centers..[4] Trucks carrying food and aid could be munition relief. [5] Ambulances...e.t.c [6] The children pose a bit of a problem in doublespeak because while propaganda manages to dehumanize and sanitize atrocities towards adults, human caring towards children is a bit more resistant to propaganda. Ergo, all children are youths. And they will one day grow into adults, who are all terrorists (men) or collaborators (women).

The above paragraph is an excellent example of uninformed propaganda. Qana, Lebanon is not located in the Palestine Occupied Territories . Although a large number of sources are noted, there is not a shred of evidence backing up the contrived claim that the use of the term, "Youths", is a conscious effort to mislead AP readers for a political purpose."

So these tags are warnings, and a cry for help. I'm not sure if i will be able to fix this article, but it's in sad shape. --Fudoreaper 07:27, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Could you not simply revert the edit by, which seems to be causing the confusion here? The user does seem to have been inserting some rather one sided viewpoints into quite a few articles. 17:39, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Addition of tags: NPOV + Cites[edit]

NPOV. I'm actually a little worried that the priming effect might be in play, possibly intentionally, with the mentioning of Nazi doublespeak directly before an intermediary sentence mentioning "radical agenda" with Hillary Clinton's healthcare reform directly afterward. There is no doubt in my mind that Nazi Germany is still recent and relevant today, but it most definitely doesn't belong under a "current" section, especially since it isn't a current event. Moreover, there is no verifiable source attached the Clinton quote, thus leading to questions of bias toward the other half of the equation. Clearly the vagueness of political campaigning is a pain in the neck, but most certainly not on the same level as Nazism.

CITES. Also added cite request, especially considering only one quote is cited in the entire article, despite multiple fact-based assertions.

If anyone has objections, corrections, or if you reasonably think this is unjustified, please discuss. --koder 18:40, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

I think its properly cited now. Given the lack of length for the article. Should we take down the CITE template? Killiondude (talk) 05:43, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Articles could always use citiations, and the template currently says there are none, which isn't true. I have reomoved the template. —fudoreaper (talk) 00:15, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Adding OR/Unverified Claims Tag[edit]

Not because I disagree with the subject of the article or particular claims used, but because as noted in the previous comment, there is only one reference to this article. The History section and the Examples sections would benefit greatly from actual references to where these terms are documented independently as, "doublespeak." And, had they been so previously, many of the above referenced problems would probably not have happened (or seen disagreement about them.)

Every sentence doesn't have to be so documented, but I think every example should be, to avoid perception that using said examples constitutes OR. (talk) 06:00, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

  • No, there's real problems here. "Concentration camp" was coined back in the 19th century, and its use in Germany conformed to the understood sense of the term. Death camps were understood to be an different concept. Mackensen (talk) 02:33, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

"Defending Freedom" would be the perfect example[edit]

To use in this article. —ᚹᚩᛞᛖᚾᚻᛖᛚᛗ (ᚷᛖᛋᛈᚱᛖᚳ) 07:04, 18 June 2009 (UTC)


examples can be found here: - (talk) 03:33, 15 August 2009 (UTC)


Should there maybe be some mention of it here? Equazcion (talk) 06:38, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

1949 or 1950s?[edit]

"The term doublespeak was coined in the early 1950s. It is often incorrectly attributed to George Orwell and his 1949 dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four."

It was a term coined AFTER orwell didn't invent it? Hows does that work then? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:23, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

History: Contradictory[edit]

The article claims that the term never appears in 1984, then goes on to define its use in the novel.

"Doublespeak may be considered, in Orwell's lexicography, as the vocabulary of Newspeak, words 'deliberately constructed for political purposes: words, that is to say, which not only had in every case a political implication, but were intended to impose a desirable mental attitude upon the person using them.'"

As well, without explanation, linguistic relativity is included as a see also. Is this article supposed to be an exercise in meta-humor? LokiClock (talk) 10:02, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Or, WP:OR. I'm removing this. --Swift (talk) 23:39, 21 January 2010 (UTC)


rmv rant, was it not Orwel that coined this term?--Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 01:55, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

ORWELL continued[edit]

I am also in shock that Orwell was not even mentioned in article. The moment I have more time I will be back to clean up this page.

Jacqbennett 14:36, 1 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jacqbennett (talkcontribs)

I am not surprised Orwell is not mentioned, in the novel "Nineteen Eighty-four", the term is Doublethink. There is obfuscation of political rhetoric is covered by the use of Newspeak which needs the ability to Doublethink but not "Doublespeak", a word that does not appear in the novel. ATurtle05 (talk) 09:18, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

OR and general tone problems[edit]

There appear to be a number of original syntheses in this article, especially in the "Origin and Concepts" section, which reads as an attempt to demonstrate that Orwell's writings are the probable origin of the term without citing one source that makes that claim. Other examples include sentences like this one: "These experts demonstrate that education in the English language and a good command of it is vital to identify that doublespeak is employed." I also feel that the Orwell Award is only obliquely related to this article, and the dates that Noam Chomsky was presented with it are completely irrelevant. The general tone of the writing is that of a persuasive piece rather than an encyclopedia article, and it suffers from its own clarity problems (mainly stemming from its reliance on quotations, but also due to... unclear use of language!). I'm going to add cleanup tags and remove some of the most egregious offenses; but this article still needs a lot of love. --Aurochs (Talk | Block) 14:00, 5 November 2012 (UTC)