Archive for the 'Spindoc Industry' Category

Spinspeak Flows On — and On

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

New grist from the Spinspeak Industry’s satantic mills:

incompetent = massive liberal inflator label for any infraction including crossing the street against the lights and spitting on the sidewalk.

momentum investor = bizschoolspeak for stock market speculator who throws increased buckets of cash at a rising stock.

towel snapper = cutespeak pejorative aimed at diminishing a crushing response to a dumb question or assertion by comparing it to fraternity showroom antics.

person of interest = police gobbledegook for an obvious suspect who would be in the nearest lock-up if all the evidence were available.

youths = French political bravebabble for young rioting Muslim thugs occupying bad suburbs from which they prey on the rest of France; also, rioting student socialized layabouts objecting to reforms that would allow employers to fire new hires after two years.

Anniversary Statement: Rationality vs. the Spin Doc Industry

Tuesday, August 9th, 2005
As the Spinspeak Letter approaches its 28-moth anniversary – a near-eon on the Internet –it is appropriate to provide an assessment of the continuing deliberate corruption of the English language by spin.
Unfortunately, the news is not good.

Using all means of communication, an amoral Spindoc Industry is spreading an intellectual bubonic plague that erodes credibility throughout American society. Furthermore, this increasing corruption of language with spin eventually opens to question all statements of fact. This on-going process is worsening from decade to decade.

Scientific Method that created the great technological triumphs of Western Civilization is being undercut by slick spindocs who redescribe the world every morning with repeatedly redefined words and phrases. Nothing is black, white red or blue. Instead, the world looks like a particularly bad paint-spatter show at the Museum of Modern Art. The most obvious truth is sullied.

My new novel, Ultimate Severance, is an attempt to depict with appropriate satire what the world becomes when it is awash in spinspeak and everyone makes everything up as he goes along. Any piece of baloney – 100 proof flim-flam — is OK because now you say it is really filet mignon; or , vice versa: pour Elixir de Snake Oil on genuine filet mignon and you convince everyone it’s baloney or old chicken. Either way, humbuggery is clearly on the march.

Spin—deliberate language corruption –is everywhere: a surly illiterate who can barely answer a phone is magically transmogrified by calling her a “customer relations specialist”; a school system. failing because pupils don’t learn anything, becomes “much improved” by “equalizing” test standards; certified C-student presidential candidates become “intellectual giants” and “total morons.”

Or, on the other hand, we have the common Washington political gambit for derailing a solid nomination by saying that you have “questions” about the nominee. After enough people say that, the same people begin saying the nominee is “damaged goods.” And after awhile if the nominee hasn’t gone home, the same people say “we can do better in a bi-partisan way.”

Bubonic plague used to race through a community leaving most of the residents dead. The spinspeak virus – an intellectual bubonic plague — races through our society eroding credibility with effects more like a neutron bomb: the residents are left alive but brain dead.

“Unfortunately, spin is so potent that its hooked users hunger continually for more and stronger spin and bemuse themselves with the typical addict’s delusion that it won’t destroy their minds along with those of their victims. Moreover, a multi-billion dollar amoral Spindoc Industry has grown up to support the commercial demand and feed it. And much of the media, society’s so-called watchdogs, are already traumatized by spinspeak and spread it rather than expose it.

To fight this plague and preserve rational thought, we urgently need a national awakening to the problem. The solution, as often is the case when fighting forces of darkness, is intense sunlight .

Three spin-detection tools essential for providing that sunlight are:

• Vet all neo-meanings given to words and phrases in the context of the user’s special interests.

• Vet all neo-labels, titles and nouns and noun phrases in apposition for factual content (if any).

• Flag for vetting all neo-usages of words and phrases.

Facts, exposure, ridicule are the weapons of choice. Particularly ridicule. The devil hates to be laughed at.

Make Way for the Spinpeople

Friday, July 22nd, 2005

With a society afflicted by spinspeak, lookspin and soundspin, it was inevitable that we would sooner or later have spinpeople.

And now we do. According to the Wall Street Journal (“Who Did Her Personality?”), one of the latest, highly-paid “professions” is lifestyle designing – the spinning of an entirely new and presumably superior, improved and fashionable persona based on “make-over” selections by your personal life-style designer. These include on the short list: your clothes, accessories, cars, restaurants, menu choices, residences, furniture, tableware, personal trainers and exercise equipment, travel, hotels, and all special event arrangements such as weddings, funerals and dinner parties.

Not a bad package for only $450 an hour.

It is not clear where or how you get credentialed as a lifestyle designer. The WSJ reports “the barrier to entering the field…is relatively low.” It says “backgrounds range from bankers to former swimsuit models…some have degrees in fashion or the arts”

Presumably, the resulting spinpeople have already acquired a full spinspeak vocabulary along with plenty of soundspin and lookspin. If not, plenty of that expertise is certainly available.

New Products from the Spinspeak Mills

Friday, May 6th, 2005

Seven new spinspeak definitions for corrupted words and phrases currently befogging public discourse:

garden bunny = politically correct libtalk for Easter bunny that hops in an America where state and church are separated and the churches are preferably closed; assuages the sensitivities of the same delicate scolds who now erect “holiday trees” and hate seeing copies of the Ten Commandments on government property.

weapon = Pentagontalk for nuclear bomb. When one worries about the mullahs having weapons, one is not talking about scimitars.

retirement age = rubbertalk for what once was a fixed time of life. If asked, most Americans in the 20th Century at least would define retirement age as 65, an age established finally by law in the 1930’s when the New Deal generously promised everyone a Social Security pension at that age knowing that most people didn’t live that long.

insurgent = blame-America first and anti-Semitic libtalk for terrorists who blow up women, children and the elderly at random.

independent = political cosmeticspeak for the generally threadbare moderate label used to define the center, a position usually located somewhat more or less left of the mushy middle of the road.

heteronormative = bad mouth technogook for men and women who opt for heterosexual relations, strictly male/female marriages, creating children and raising them — all allegedly as an affront to homosexual and transgender special interest groups.

scattering = funeral industry cosmeticspeak for sprinkling mother’s ashen remains over her favorite beach, country road or mall parking lot.