The New Doublespeak: Why No One Knows What Anyone's Saying Anymore

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9780060171346: The New Doublespeak: Why No One Knows What Anyone's Saying Anymore

A witty look at doublespeak, language that is evasive, misleading, self-contradictory, and deceptive, explains how to dissect a politician's doublespeak, fight it, demand clear communication, and become critical listeners of language. $35,000 ad/promo. Tour.

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Review:

William Lutz, a professor of English at Rutgers University and former editor of the Quarterly Review of Doublespeak, has had enough of doublespeak--the inflated, involved and often deliberately ambiguous use of language or when "strategic misinterpretations" are used instead of lies. He argues that the practice has been growing in our culture, and he's right. In this book he reviews doubletalk by Democrats, Republicans, journalists, economists and Supreme Court justices, and shows how the repeated use of a phrase allows it to stay unchallenged in the lexicon. Say what you mean, argues Lutz, and we'll all be better off.

From School Library Journal:

YA. This is the second book by the doublespeak detective who entertains, angers, and motivates with his continuing exposure of the nonsense language that pervades the public atmosphere. With brevity, clarity, and wit, Lutz explains that doublespeak is language that makes the bad seem good, the negative appear positive, the unpleasant appear attractive or at least tolerable. A tax increase, for example, is not a tax increase, but rather "revenue enhancement," "wage-based premium," "user fee," or "passenger facility charge." Workers are never laid off; they're "redundant," "transitioned," or offered "voluntary severance," or, as in the computer industry, they're "uninstalled." The author talks about fuzzy thinking, labels and mental maps, signs and symbols as well as cognitive dissonance in ways that are easily understood and humorously illustrated. His purpose is to help readers identify ways in which we are ripped off, hoodwinked, and otherwise manipulated by others due to the pervasive influence and acceptance of doublespeak. Lots of white space and relatively large type make the book readable. Chapter notes document all the references, and the 58 sources in the bibliography lead readers to additional thoughtful reading about the use and misuse of language.?Cynthia J. Rieben, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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