Quotes: New Speak

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Matt: Stryker’s in the Oval Office asking the president permission for a “special operation” and talking about “school reform.” In my experience, that is pitch-perfect bureaucratic talk.
Chris: That’s the level that Stryker’s at, actually wanting a race war.
—Chris Sims and Matt Wilson on X2: X-Men United

Game consoles were so tainted in the eyes of the fickle public, that when Nintendo called their machine an 'entertainment system' rather than a game console, it sold fucking gangbusters. For you see, the public are fickle but not particularly smart.

A guy who likes to blame everything on the Jews. He's a former Klansman who claims that he left his racist days behind long ago, but that's bullshit. He uses the word "Zionist" more than he uses the word 'the.' It's essentially his subtle way of saying Kike.
Urban Dictionary on David Duke

Rich and powerful people don't get fired like the rest of us...This is executive speak for "We're firing you because you've become synonymous with perhaps the darkest chapter in the history of our company but you're well-liked so we're going to give you a made-up job on the way out."
Sam Biddle, "Hacked Sony Antihero Amy Pascal Basically Fired"

Even Christian Science is like “You know, we should really consider changing our name to something less confusing.”
DListed, "Val Kilmer Isn’t Treating A Tumor In His Throat Because He’s A Hardcore Christian Scientist"

Sound science has two meanings. When used by scientists it means robustly supported science, confirmed by multiple peer-reviewed studies. When used in politics it means ideologically sound science, i.e. a euphemism for industry-funded pseudoscientific bullshit.

Rand Paul is antivaccine. He simply cloaks his antivaccine views in the rhetoric of “health freedom,” as so many with antivaccine views who happen to lean libertarian do. The whole “freedom” thing is what I like to refer to as an antivaccine dog whistle.
Orac, "Nobody Wants to Admit to Being Anti-Vaccine"

"I'm not a feminist, I'm an equalist." They're not an equalist, they're an asshole....Entering a centuries-long struggle affecting billions of lives, their opener is, "Heh, let me fix this cute little mistake you made." Even if they had a point, and they really don't, their first priority is branding.

Imagine being on fire, running up to a firefighter screaming for help, and they hook their hands in their pockets and say, "Actually, before we start, I think you should say you're violently oxidizing. Not all oxidization is bad. I mean, some of my cells are performing oxidation right now, and I think it would be better if we ..."

After years of opposing the women’s movement, for example, Phyllis Schlafly seemed genuinely incapable of conjuring the prefeminist view of women as deferential wives and mothers. Instead, she celebrated the activist 'power of the positive woman.' When she spoke out against the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), she didn’t claim that it introduced a radical new language of rights. Her argument was the opposite. The ERA, she told the Washington Star, 'is a takeaway of women’s rights.' It will 'take away the right of the wife in an ongoing marriage, the wife in the home.' Schlafly was obviously using the language of rights in a way that was opposed to the aims of the feminist movement; she was using rights talk to put women back into the home, to keep them as wives and mothers.

Every time a community springs up supposedly based only on mocking the 'excesses' of 'Tumblr activists,' the moderates who are in it just to make fun of the feminists or anti-racists who are 'actually crazy' find themselves joined by 'redpillers' (i.e. men’s rights activists) and advocates of 'human biodiversity' (a coy euphemism for scientific racism and eugenics).
Arthur Chu, "Occupying the Throne"

Now, how many ideologies have you ever heard state anything like

We believe that disrespect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud are good things in human relationships, and that only through slavery can peace and prosperity be realized.

Libertarians are for "individual rights", and against "force" and "fraud" — just as THEY define it. Their use of these words, however, when examined in detail, is not likely to accord with the common meanings of these terms. What person would proclaim themselves in favor of "force and fraud"? One of the little tricks Libertarians use in debate is to confuse the ordinary sense of these words with the meaning as "terms of art" in Libertarian axioms. They try to set up a situation where if you say you're against "force and fraud", then obviously you must agree with Libertarian ideology, since those are the definitions. If you are in favor of "force and fraud", well, isn't that highly immoral? So you're either one of them, or some sort of degenerate (note the cultish aspect again), one who doesn't think "force and fraud must be banished from human relationships".
Seth Finkelstein, "Libertarianism Make You Stupid"

It’s absolutely fascinating how the libertarian crew has managed to smuggle out the “skepticism” claim to try and make various forms of denialism all logicky and masculine, rather than the depraved rantings of people who can’t face the real world.

Oh, I’m a climate change skeptic, I’m an evolution skeptic, I just inherently believe that all of science is part of a giant collusion to personally deceive me...And also Holocaust, what Holocaust, I’m just so skeptical! Look at how intelligently skeptically I can put my fingers in my ears and go lalalalala.
Cerberus, "My Fedora Brings All the Girls to the Yard"

In America, 99 percent of the money belongs to about 300 men. Those men are certain you want their money, and if you've ever wanted money for any reason, they're probably right. It's turned the rich into paranoid hoarders, and for some reason they pay Fox News to tell us all about it... They refer to billionaires as 'job creators' instead of 'human hunters.' They call it a War on Success if you apply basic economic theories to the financial crisis. And they accuse you of communism if you notice that any of this is retarded.

For what it’s worth, a school shooting is defined by Wikipedia as 'an occurrence in which an individual discharges a gun and that incident takes place at an education institution.' This seems pretty straightforward. There is a shooting at a school; it is a school shooting... So, what better way to combat this alarming list of school shootings than to redefine the term 'school shooting' itself? By doing this, according to gun-rights activists, you knock off, say, 59 of the 74 school shootings, leaving you with only 15 real, true, legitimate school shootings. ONLY 15! That’s nothing. We can live with that, right? The sad thing is, media outlets are now using this new 'revised' number.
Matt Binder

    real life 

You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Nigger, nigger, nigger.' By 1968 you can't say 'nigger' — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights... You follow me? Because obviously sitting around saying, 'We want to cut this,' is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than 'Nigger, nigger.'
Lee Atwater, strategist for Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush

To be 'Orwellian' is to speak with absolute clarity, to be succinct, to explain what the event is, to talk about what triggers something happening… and to do so without any pejorative whatsoever!
—Spin doctor Frank Luntz evokes Poe's Law

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.

Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.
Toni Morrison

Language has always been important in politics, but language is incredibly important to the present political struggle. Because if you can establish an atmosphere in which information doesn't mean anything, then there is no objective reality. The first show we did, a year ago, was our thesis statement: What you wish to be true is all that matters, regardless of the facts. Of course, at the time, we thought we were being farcical.

The United States, to an unusual extent, is a business-run society, more so than others. The business classes are very class-conscious...We don’t use the term 'working class' here because it’s a taboo term. You’re supposed to say 'middle class,' because it helps diminish the understanding that there’s a class war going on.
Noam Chomsky

Do not allow others to dictate the debate by injecting their own politically correct language like: higher order thinking skills, site-based management or gender norming. It's a smokescreen. Insist on using plain English in your debates.
Tom DeWeese, American education activist.