DoubleSpeak, How to Lie without Lying


In the Winter of 1847, George Donner, the
co-leader of the California-bound group of American settlers engaged in intraspecies
protein reallocation in order to maintain metabolic integrity. However, his failure to fulfill caloric obligations
in a timely manner rendered him unviable. This video, is about “DoubleSpeak” – what
William Lutz, author of the book titled DoubleSpeak, defines as “Doublespeak is language designed
to evade responsibility, make the unpleasant appear pleasant, the unattractive appear attractive,
basically its language designed to mislead while pretending not to.” “What line of work are you in?” “Waste management consultant.” Let’s say for example the person whose treacherous
mountain climb my energy bar company sponsored cannibalized his climbing partner, it would
be better for me to say something that technically communicates this information, but doesn’t
sound as terrible. Lutz says there are at least four kinds of
doublespeak. “Protein reallocation” instead of “cannibalism”
and Tony Soprano’s creative phrase to replace “Mobster” would probably fall under the
Fourth Kind of doublespeak which is inflated language that is designed to make the simple
seem complex or to give an air of importance to people, things, or situations. “I don’t know if that tape is working, you
ate three desserts tonight!” “Forbearance is the watchword; that triumvirate
of Twinkies merely overwhelmed my resolve!” The concept of Doublespeak stems from George
Orwell’s 1984 – in the book, “Doublethink” is a key concept. To know and not to know, to be conscious of
complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies… Doublespeak though, is rarely about deliberately
lying. For example, In January 2015, Sid Miller became
Agriculture Commissioner of the state with the 5th fattest high schoolers in the country
– Texas. So, that same year, along with announcing
a plan to combat obesity, he announced updates to the School Nutrition policy in Texas which
included rolling back a ban on the use of deep fryers and allowing the sale of “low-calorie
beverages” in Texas schools. By low-calorie beverages he means …sodas. I guess a soda is technically lower calorie
than say a “meal” …but I doubt coca cola is what you’re expecting if you ask
for a “low calorie beverage” at a restaurant. “Why do you have so many bowling balls?” “Ah.. uh… I’m not gonna lie to you, Marge. So long!” So, doublespeak becomes useful obviously when
you are obligated to communicate something, but are unable to straight up lie, yet communicating
the truth bluntly or as clear as possible doesn’t have the listener perceive the information
in the way you would like. For example, when being asked about your current
position during a job interview, you might think it would sound better to say “I’m
currently economically inactive due to being offered an early retirement opportunity as
a result of my previous employer’s human resource redundancy elimination initiative”
instead of “I’m unemployed because the company was firing people and I got fired.” Edward Sapir, in his essay “The Status of
Linguistics as a Science,” says “Language is a guide to social reality …Human beings
do not live in the objective world alone, …, but are very much at the mercy of the
particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society.” A lot of times, we don’t want information
communicated to us objectively and unembellished. Euphemisms, like “passed away” instead
of “died” or “big boned” for “fat” are words or phrases that are usually used
to avoid a distasteful reality. William Lutz says this is the 1st type of
Doublespeak. “You see, I don’t like euphemisms. I don’t like language that reflects fear and
conceals the truth.” “Americans can’t really handle the truth,
so they invent soft language to protect themselves, and it gets worse with every generation.” “Sometime during my lifetime, toilet paper
became bathroom tissue, …, used cars became previously owned transportation and constipation
became occasional irregularity.” “Poor people used to live in slums, now
the economically disadvantaged occupy substandard housing in the inner cities. … They don’t have a negative cash flow
position, they’re broke!” Calling an economic recession a “period
of accelerated negative growth” can be annoying, but certain forms of doublespeak are just
deceitful. In Chapter 2 under the section “The Doublespeak
of Graphs,” Lutz gives a dated, but clear visual example of doublespeak. “Now here’s another chart… their tax
cut, so called, is the dotted line. Ours is the solid line. As you can see, our tax cut keeps on going
down and then stays down permanently. This red space between the two lines is the
tax money that will remain in your pockets if our bill passes.” Lutz points out that there are no numbers
on this chart, which means you have no perspective to evaluate it with. When you make the dollar scale from $0 to
$2500 rather than the awkward $2150 to $2400, it appears much less impressive. This kind of graphical doublespeak also appears
elsewhere, used by the pharmaceutical industry for the heart protecting cholesterol lowering
wonder drug – statins. “So here’s the ad in which you see that Lipitor
reduced coronary events and risk for heart disease by 36%. So this was a really important study, the
one that ultimately drove Lipitor to generate over a 100 billion dollars in revenue. So I’m gonna show you the actual data from
the study. And it’s right here. But here are the actual data from the study. And somewhere in here is a 36% risk reduction
when you compare placebo with Atorvastatin, the Lipitor. So if you look at survival, you see they’re
basically identical, no difference in mortality benefit. You see that tiny sliver of a difference between
the red and blue bars? That is a 36% reduction. This is the wonder drug effect. This is the effect that propelled Lipitor
to generate over 100 billion dollars in revenue. How can that be a 36% reduction in risk? When you calculate it and you look at the
data, the actual difference is 1.1% This is where you do some statistical hijinx. You take that 1.1% difference between the
groups, then you add the difference between placebo and 100… If you’re not following me, it doesn’t matter
because this is silly. Right? So you take the 1.1, divide it by 3, what
do you get? You get 36. 36 percent. And that’s why they say there is a 36 percent
reduction. And so, if you have truth in advertising,
I think the 1% should actually be in the ad. Lipitor! reduces heart attack by 1%. “Now I’m also taking Lipitor.” By the way, if you’re health conscious and
want to limit your sugars, you might like to know that there are 56 different names
for sugars. Don’t like the way just “sugar” sounds? How about “organic evaporated cane juice,”
a completely natural sweetener ? This kind of “rebranding” of words to
make people react differently is all over the place. “Frank Luntz doesn’t do issues, he does
Language around issues. He figures out what words will best sell an
issue.” In Frank Luntz’s book “Words that work,”
he explains the importance of using the right word or phrase to evoke the right response
from the listener. He says “It’s not what you say, it’s
what they hear.” “Focus on those words that cause people to
change their minds, change their behavior, even change their attitudes.” For example, the “gambling” industry became
the “gaming” industry and completely changed its perception despite nothing about the industry
actually changing. As Luntz says in the book: “Gambling” looks like what an old man
with a crumpled racing form does at the track… or feels like the services provided by some
seedy back-alley bookie in some smoke-filled room. “Gaming” is what families do together
at the Hollywood-themed MGM Grand, New York, New York, or one of the other “family-friendly
resorts” in Las Vegas. “Gambling” is a vice. “Gaming” is a choice. He begins his work with something similar
to a focus group. He talks to members of the target market and
runs words or phrases by them to see what they like and dislike. “You’re gonna use these to register whether
you agree or disagree, whether you believe or disbelieve. The dials go from 0 to 100.” “Climbing, Climbing. Changing fuels.” One of his most significant political works
has been getting the public to finally be against the estate tax by removing that particular
phrase from the political lexicon and replacing it with the more emotional, more personal
“death tax.” In his book originally published in January
2007, Lutz says A clear but somewhat narrow majority of Americans today support eliminating
the so-called “estate tax,”… but more than 70 percent would abolish the “death
tax.” “It’s the same tax, but nobody really knows
what an estate is. But they certainly know what it means to be
taxed when you die.” “I’d like someone to get rid of the death
tax – that’s what Iwant. I don’t wanna get taxed just because I died. You know…” “Who’s hungry?” One food rebranding effort was so successful
that by 2002, the National Environmental Trust started a campaign to save a previously ignored
fish species from being eaten into extinction. In 1977 fish wholesaler Lee Lantz took “patagonian
toothfish” and renamed it “Chilean sea bass (I believe)” because he knew no one
would have toothfish for dinner. So, when people come to associate certain
ideas with certain words, it’s useful to come up with new words that evoke a more pleasant
reaction. For example, a hospital may think that you
wouldn’t react to well to hearing that a catastrophic blunder killed your wife and
child during a Cesarean delivery. So, it’s better to describe the anaesthesiologist
having turned the wrong knob and giving the mother a fatal dose of nitrous oxide as a
“therapeutic misadventure.” At least, St. Mary’s Hospital in Minneapolis
in 1982 thought this wording would be better. “Three weeks ago in Los Angeles, the surgeons
killed a patient. In a series of incidents that the pathologist
called ‘incredible stupidity and incompetence,’ it included slitting the patient’s throat
during surgery – this was called a therapeutic misadventure.” William Lutz says the second kind of doublespeak
is jargon – the specialized language of a trade or profession. It is useful and necessary to know jargon
to communicate within your field, but whether it is doublespeak depends on where you use
it. For example describing your computer keyboard
key to your friend as a Catastrophically Buckling Compression Column
Switch and Actuator “Huh?” is unnecessary, but is an appropriate descriptor
to use in a patent. After giving President Reagan a routine physical
examination, Dr. Daniel Ruge said that “previously documented decrement in auditory acuity and
visual refractive error corrected with contact lenses were evaluated and found to be stable.” “Wha?” That sounds a lot more impressive than saying
the president’s hearing and eyesight haven’t changed since his last exam. “Where is the organoleptically detectable
LAMB SAUCE?” And finally, William Lutz says the 3rd type
of doublespeak is gobbledygook or bureaucratese. Basically, such doublespeak is a matter of
piling on words, of overwhelming the audience with words. There are plenty of examples of politicians
using bureaucratese when forced to comment on something they don’t want to comment
on, but a good example is NASA’s ex-associate administrator Jesse Moore’s performance
in terms of the lexicon he was operating under. After the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster,
Jesse Moore was asked if the performance of the shuttle program had improved with each
launch, he answered, “I think our performance in terms of the liftoff
performance and in terms of the orbital performance, we knew more about the envelope we were operating
under, and we have been pretty accurately staying in that. And so I would say the performance has not
by design drastically improved. I think we have been able to characterize
the performance more as a function of our launch experience as opposed to it improving
as a function of time.” “Juh?” Pretty much everyone will at some point will
dress up facts in some kind of way, even in our day to day lives. People use doublespeak because …from a young
age we learn that consequences exist. “So tell me, Did you eat the chocolate cake?” “No Mommy.” Just because someone is using doublespeak
doesn’t make them a crook, but when you don’t quite understand what’s being said
about something important to you, it’s good to ask “what exactly is this person saying?” For example you might be looking into investing
and come across words like “subprime mortgage” or “collateralized debt obligation” – it
would be good to clarify for yourself specifically what that means. “So banks started filling these bonds with
riskier and riskier mortgages. By the way, these risky mortgages are called
subprime, so whenever you hear subprime, think sheet.” “So mortgage bonds are dogsheet. CDO’s are dogsheet wrapped in catsheet?” “Yea that’s right.” And something I’ve been wondering lately
– what does detox mean? It seems there’s hundreds of products promising
to “detox” your body, but what exactly is being detoxed? Cadmium or Mercury? Reactive Oxygen Species? Benzene? Wouldn’t it be nice to know which toxins
are being detoxified by which product so I could make sure to drink this when I’m taking
way too much aspirin or take this for my excessive use of BHT containing cosmetics. Maybe this “detox tea” product could help
me detoxify metals or PCBs or something like that, but I wouldn’t know because all I
could find about the ingredients is that they “are time proven to help your body with
the detoxifying process.” “What the hell are you talking about?”

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Reader Comments

  1. santiago hernandez

    Detox is for stoners 😂😂😂 something you shoudent worry about unless your of probation or trying to get a job because you just smoked yesterday or last week.
    I never used them i just quit for a month if it's a urine test or 24hr if i know its saliva test. I passed a saliva test with mouth wash and gum.

  2. Mediafox 7

    That death tax thing reminds me of a seaside town I used to live near. Originally, their beach was called Shark Bay, named due to small species of shark in the area (harmless ones like Gummys though). They had to change the name after everyone assumed it was dangerous and instead called it, ironically, Safety Beach.

  3. Sam Azzarano

    11:27 That isn't double speak. That's the IBM Model M keyboard design (unique in it's keystroke type). Buckling spring keyboards are the best out there, better than even mechanical keyboards, and are only seen in old IBM and Unicomp keyboards (as they hold the patents for them)

  4. Nuclearcameleon

    Hey @ what i’ve learned could you please make a video about depersonalisationderealisation and or dissociative disorders. Love the way you deliver information.

  5. shlockerdrive

    Detoxification (a victim of funding bias) is a metabolic process that is ongoing in your body. However….

    This process is inhibited by various, unneccessary chemicals (caffeine, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, food additives, drugs, controlled substances, and pollution).

    When one detoxes, they limit or eliminate these factors to such a degree that is not self harmful. While also introducing time honored (read victim of funding bias) remedies to encourage or jump start your otherwise suppresses metabolism.

    The elephant in the room, the viability of any given substance, is a virtual unknown until one has done extensive research (which has to be synthasized with deductive reasoning and informational interviews with practicionors). Some compounds do not have medicinal charm (rhinoceros horns) while others do (creatine).

    I hope this helps.

  6. fierroboy1

    Dems use this all the time. Do you want to make <insert industry> safer while providing funding to our Schools? = Want a new tax to fund new government positions that wont do anything but make sure your paying this new tax?" OR UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS = SPYING ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND USING THEIR DATA FOR PROFIT TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER. Lol

  7. Sir Intellitoke

    That Ronald Reagan chart wasn't doublespeak! Just because there are no solid numbers to determine specific cost savings (the income of each individual varies, obviously), this doesn't constitute to doublespeak. Quite frankly, your representation of this is doublethink, if we were to view this at a political level.

    While I agree with a lot of things in this documentary, this is one that I'd say takes the hard L.

  8. Jurchen Chan

    For all ya learners out here, an amazing example of doublespeak, as well as brilliant British humor is Sir Humphry Applebee, from the tv series "Yes, minister".

  9. Remedy The Goat

    You can also produce simple “lies” whilst still technically pertaining to the truth, just of different subject matter. If being interrogated, the interrogator may ask you if your lying, you can respond with no and tell the truth even if you were. Take the question as the interrogator asking your name “are you lying?, no I’m John” or “no I’m sitting”. So you are responding to a different question than what the person is asking but technically you aren’t lying. Make sense?… and yes this thought process was created by the use of dad jokes, gotta love it!

  10. Mark Pinguel

    “I manage the distribution of human knowledge and literature throughout history in the form of hand held publications for the future generations.”

    aKa sTuDeNt LIbraRiAn

  11. No Bones

    to subscribe to pewdiepie i applied force to a curved semi-bendable plastic plate affixed to a mechanical compression column switch and actuator which transmitted an electrical signal to a complex system of electrical and computer engineering design which… pressed a red button on the screen

  12. Ben Silva

    everything becomes clear and obvious once you have proper emotional stability. You don't need to "over analyze" everything because it all comes "naturally" to you.. this is because the cognitive parts of your brain, which you never "see," are functioning properly when emotions are stable. People don't realize this, they refuse, even, to believe that we reason subconsciously, not consciously. The only conscious part of or cognition is our emotional reasoning, which is why it needs to be stable since it easily overrides all other processes. The way to be emotionally stable isn't to "practice discipline" but to physically have emotionally supportive people in your life. That's the only way.

  13. ITILII

    "I don't mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy" – Oscar Wilde "There are 3 types of lies: little white lies, damn lies…and statistics" – Mark Twain

  14. Gievirlyn Guerrero

    Seeing the double speak and the truth right after seems more like rapport between a sarcastic friend and their best friend who doesn’t want to admit their shame.

  15. Weeding A Loud

    1984 one my favorite books love the real world context it has now almost 70 years later. It’s incredible what George Orwell was able to predict to a amazing accuracies. Not the events as much as the human condition and thought process of the far future.

  16. Dalton Gerwig

    Im not sleeping in class, im absorbing my knowledge without interruption so i may rejoin my daily educational expirience refreshed and reset into a conforatble and aware status

  17. All Powerful Mitochondria

    Canabilism isn’t “interspecies” though. It just sounds like he sucked an animal’s dick and died vegetarian lmao

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