Talk:Doublespeak

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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. 68.148.173.40 (talk) 02:58, 5 May 2013 (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)