Talk:Code word (figure of speech)

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I felt this article promoted an anti-conservative POV. Sources or examples are needed to confirm the use of code words - otherwise it's more of an accusation. I changed some wording to reflect this. Giving examples of other groups using code words would be another way to make this article more neutral. Ubermonkey 17:24, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • You make a good point, I'll give it a shot.--ghost 18:21, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

What solid research words discuss this term? Please provide, otherwise the article look as original research, even if the topic may be valid and the term is in use. Also, what is the difference with the term cliche? I don't see much, besides "cliche" being of more general meaning, not limited to politics. Also, I strongly suspect that the word "code word" is neologistish "code word" itself, to bash those who use certain cliches. Mikkalai 22:19, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Searching on Google, it seems that this term is only used by the left to describe the use of words like "faith" and "freedom" when used by the right. I've never seen this used much before (searching around on Google comes up with scant relevant entries)—I'm somewhat inclined to say that we redirect it to something like loaded term or power word or framing (communication theory), all of which describe more or less the same thing. --Fastfission 23:32, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Mikkalai-What? I don't understand most of your request. Nor do I understand why you removed most of the language that would answer your questions. A cliche is an overused word or phrase. Code word in current US political context is not something that is overused, rather something that is deliberately subversive in it's use. And of course code word is itself a code word. That's called irony.--ghost 22:24, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Fastfission-Unfortunately, Google cannot be the end all, be all. And yes, the term code word is a rhetorical device being used on both side of numerous political debates. I like your contribution of a code word in use outside the US.--ghost 22:24, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm aware that Google cannot be the end all, but you need to provide proof that this is a well-used concept and is encyclopedic enough to require an article (and not just a redirect to something like loaded term). As it is, it looks like a neologism. Can you provide a link or reference to something prominent which uses this terminology? If George Lakoff is using the term[1] then I'm happy with keeping it, but we should reference him specifically (he is a prominent linguist), not bloggers (who make up new and unencyclopedic words all the time). I think that particular link is pretty poor (the author has obviously not read any of Lakoff's work and so misinterprets very stupidly what he meant), perhaps we can find some better ones. --Fastfission 22:36, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I am reverting this article to a previous edit, because the current edit fails the NPOV test requested by Ubermonkey.--ghost 22:24, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I am sorry, I was trying to edit the article, then abandoned the idea, and probably instead of "cancel" I clicked "save", so 3/4 of the article were gone. Mikkalai 19:54, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Lol. Not a problem. I've done the same. It inspired me to further research, and it appears you and I are adding links at the same time. LOL--ghost 20:20, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Code word as a linguistic topic[edit]

My original reason for an entry for Code word (propaganda) (which I still believe is more appropriate; (figure of speech) seems too PC) was a request for an entry on the Community Portal. I will freely admit that I am not more than a casual student of linguistics. My background is in politics.

I'm fascinated with the concept of " need to provide proof that this is a well-used concept and is encyclopedic enough to require an article...". What exactly constitutes encyclopedic? My understanding is that once something is no longer a neologism, but has been adopted by the culture at large, it constitutes something worth of an entry here or in Wiktionary. And that adoptation does not need to occur on the academic level. Bloggers or everyday people count just as much.Just because your English professor won't describe his new Cadillac Escalade as "Pimpy" doesn't mean that the word doesn't deserve recognition. In fact, Wikipedia can provide a more immediate and more relevant resource for non-academic usages precisely because it is open source.

The underlying concept behind this current use of Code words is not new. It's as ancient as communication & propaganda. Look at Hitler's, Churchill's, & FDR's use of code words not just in their speeches, but in their more casual comments to the public. George Lakoff didn't invent the term (as the pre-2003 links show), he codified it. Yes, I agree we need better links. The reason for the link to Mr. Katz's article was for NPOV, not because of the quality of his logic. I would love to see examples of code words in use in other languages and cultures.--ghost 01:59, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I got to listen to The Mark Stiner Show on WYPR, a Baltimore/DC NPR affiliate yesterday, and listened to the "code words" debate in real-time. I'm going to try to link the show here. Two regional political consultants were going round and round on the MD senate race, when one mentioned to Kwasi M'Fume's "non-traditional lifestyle". The other consultant leaped on this as use of a new "code word" to allude to his multiple illegitimate children.

Code Brown[edit]

Code Brown! Lol. But surely it is obvious to any innocent bystander what it refers to? Asa01 08:10, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Is this code brown stuff true? Why would they need a code word for the shit in one's pants? Kitler005 15:59, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Also code yellow for urinary incontinence. It's quite practical, for paging a janitor with the appropriate cleanup equipment. Remember that hospitals would typically have to use protective gear and disinfect the contaminated area; it's more complex than household cleanup. Also, if highly trained staff are dealing with more critical matters, they can't stop for cleanup. They also can't break sterile technique if it is being used.

Code Word or Jargon?[edit]

There are a few suggestions of code words given that conflict with the given overall definition. The police 10-codes, for example, exist for clarity of communication, rather than to sound "...inoffensive to other listeners not aware of [their] true meaning[s]". People listening to police channels hearing an officer radioing in a "1D" would not be upset or concerned if the report had been of an "alleged domestic assault" instead, but it does remove ambiguity regarding what the officer is responding to. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:45, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I'm trying to clean that up to some degree. This article seems to be focused on the figure of speech (now), so IMHO the military code word section (my primary interest) does not apply. As I've been looking at the disambiguation page as well, I believe the communication-related article would be most appropriate for the police codes. That article probably needs a rename to narrow its focus down to communications, though. (talk) 03:46, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

"Soft tissue" and "officer of the court"[edit]

I removed two of the putative "legal" code words: "Soft tissue" and "officer of the court." The claim made for these expressions as code words is total clueless nonsense (that's legal code for "crap").

The article had read: “When lawyers assess the merits of a personal injury case in front of a client, one may emphasize to the other that the client has only "soft tissue" injuries, signaling that he thinks the client may be faking, and the case should not be taken.”

“Soft tissue injury” is generally not code or a euphemism for fake injuries. So-called “soft tissue injuries” lack broken bones or similar palpable trauma and, therefore, tend to rely on subjective reports of pain by the injured person. This does not mean the injuries are faked—many painful long term injuries are soft tissue—but it does mean they are harder to prove and that the case is, therefore, less valuable, relatively. Of course, the cases that are fake will almost always be categorized as “soft tissue injuries” because, being fake, they lack any real trauma. A lawyer who uses the expression “soft tissue injury” in front of a client is likely alluding to the fact that the nature of the injuries make them more uncertain further render the case less valuable.

It had further read: “When a lawyer incurs the ire of a judge in open court, he may start to defend himself with, "Your Honor, as an officer of the court," which is designed to remind the judge that they are on the same team, sworn in by the state's highest court, and he wants professional courtesy despite his offense. This code word was used repeatedly by Mark Fuhrman's lawyer in the People of Calif. vs. O.J. Simpson (1995), after F. Lee Bailey caught the lawyer in a misrepresentation regarding the out-of-pocket expenses that he had incurred in preparing for Fuhrman's anticipated defense.”

The expression “officer of the court” means that a lawyer has a special duty to be honest, responsible, and respectful in his professional dealings with the court. It is not a claim to be “on the same team” as the judge or that the lawyer wants to be treated leniently because he is a “member of the club.” Lawyers do use it to vouch for themselves; that is, to extend an assurance that they can be trusted in some respect. “You can trust me, Your Honor, I have not forgotten my obligations to the legal system and you can trust me to do [or that I have done] the right thing in this matter.” It could be used in indignation: “I am an officer of the court, and I had no idea that this was going on or I would have notified the Court immediately.” You will occasionally hear the judges use the expression “officer of the court” to remind attorneys of their special obligations to the legal system. It is not “code” in any relevant sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Criticality (talkcontribs) 23:38, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

yeah, those terms sound like jargon Tinynanorobots (talk) 15:37, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

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