Archive for August, 2004

>Cut It Out or We’ll Send In the Sensitive Warriors

Thursday, August 26th, 2004

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With Sen. Kerry’s promise to fight war sensitively, students of spinspeak must now move the word “sensitive” from the spin phyla gooeytalkto the phyla mushmindspeak.

In its original definition in natural philosophy, sensitive meant being receptive to external stimulation such as heat, light and noise as opposed to being dead. Over time the word assumed its more poetic meaning of being delicately aware of the feelings and attitudes of others.

The politically correct gendarmerie subsequently increased the degree of “delicate awareness” to the irrational point where prompt common sense action has become all but impossible and “sensitive” has become badge-of-honor class gooeytalk.

The new, vote-grubbing concept of sensitive war takes the word “sensitive” into the boob realm of comfy contradiction, grouping it with such mushmindspeak as humane hanging, painless fishing, free health care and no-loser school sports.

>Etymology of nuancespeak

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004

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Widespread use of the word “nuance” by the Kerry Campaign to explain what to the common sense mind looks like clear contradictions, flip-flops and fuzzball revisions is a classic case of language corruption.

Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines “nuance” as a “subtle distinction or variation…a subtle quality…a nicety.” The word comes from the Middle French nuer “to make shades of color.”

It has never meant the opposite of what someone said or did last month or last year, let alone yesterday.

On the other hand, the Kerry Campaign may be justified in its polluted use of “nuance” after all. According to Webster’s the word is not only derived from the MF nuer but also from the MF word nue meaning “cloud.”

>Waving the “American” Label and “Stopping the Buck”

Friday, August 20th, 2004

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Democratic Gov. James E. McGreevey of New Jersey made a breakthrough contribution to the art of spin in announcing his resignation on grounds that he “shamefully…engaged in adult consensual affairs with another man who violates my bonds of matrimony.”

He neglected, of course, to mention scandals past and upcoming which it has subsequently been suggested he was trying to cover up with his sexual and moral preferences. But he did say:

1. “I am a gay American.” Not just “gay,” but a “gay American,” thereby wrapping his sexual preferences in the patriotic spirit of such straight chaps as Washington and Lincoln. He also raises for future linguistic study the question of the scale of differentiation between; say a “gay American” and a “gay Peruvian” or possibly a “gay Inuit.”

2. He boldly took “full responsibility,” elevating “the buck stops here” fuzzball to new heights of vacuousness. Unfortunately, no one apparently asked him who else might be responsible.

>The Rights Spin

Saturday, August 7th, 2004

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As campaigns boil over with promises in this political gift-promising season, it is well to keep in mind that the word “rights” is one of the great examples of current portmanteautalk much favored by pols and spindocs.

In the 18th Century, “the rights of Man” and the God-given “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” were considered basic areas of freedom to be defended to the death against the power of absolute governments.

Today this core Age of Reason definition of “rights” has become the brightly colored gift-wrapping for a process of political aggrandizement.

As Economist Thomas Sowell points out in a recent column (“The left’s vocabulary”):

“’rights’…have become an all-purpose term used for evading both facts and logic by saying that people have a ‘right” to whatever the left wants to give them by taking from others.

“…the left has redefined rights as things that can be demanded from taxpayers or from private employers or others on behalf of people who accept no mutual obligations even for common decency.”

The continuing usage of this vastly expanded and corrupted definition has resulted in its general acceptance by the unwary in mainstream vocabularies. Rational human beings opposed to the latest political giveaway of their property or liberties to others find themselves denounced as deniers of “rights” and worse. Who would want to be so labeled? Who would want to be so churlish?

Rationality erodes. Spinspeak triumphs.

> Spin from the Campaign Trail

Friday, August 6th, 2004

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urban = latest euphemism (compliments of the NY TIMES) for liberal. Earlier transmogrifications employed to avoid the L-word are “mainstream” and “progressive.”

inadvertantly = fuzzball explaining the behavior of former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger when he made “the mistake” of stuffing confidential 9/11 documents in his trousers and socks for further review at home.

safer = (1.) Democratic for how you should not feel because the Bush Administration overthrew Saddam Hussein and keeps annoying the peace-loving Arab Street. (2.) Republican for how you should feel because Saddam and his equally swell sons aren’t around anymore. (3.)How both parties promise to make you feel in the future.