Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


Become a Patron!


Political Language

Some examples of the way language is used to obscure, slant, provoke, condemn and praise.

*

“Restatement of earnings”
– The expression used by executives of a number of American corporations in 2002. The law calls it “fraud”.

*

Positioning For Growth
– The expression used by the National Australia Bank in April 2002 when announcing the closure of more branches and the retrenchment of several thousand employees.

*

Asylum-Seekers Acronyms
– SIEV: Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel

– PUAs: Potential Unauthorised Arrivals

*

“Card-carrying environmentalist”

From the Sydney Sun-Herald, (December 2, 2001):

“Ms Nettle, who pipped Senator Vicki Bourne of the Australian Democrats for the sixth NSW Senate seat, has worked as a community welfare officer in western Sydney, taught English in East Timor, fought uranium mining in Jabiluka, campaigned against the construction of a women’s jail at Windsor and joined Critical Mass in blocking traffic in central Sydney in defence of cyclists’ rights.

“She is a member of the Greens and it is the first time NSW voters have sent a committed, card-carrying environmentalist to Federal Parliament.

“But just because she will be joining the party’s other senator, Bob Brown from Tasmania, doesn’t mean she will give up her career as a full-time activist.”

Spin: whereas commitment is usually praised as a positive characteristic, in this instance Ms. Nettle’s commitment is portrayed as zealous, excessive behaviour. She isn’t simply a Green, but a “card-carrying environmentalist” who has made a “career” as a “full-time-activist”.

*

“Battlefield Detainee”
– the term used to describe John Walker, the American captured while fighting for the Taliban in November 2001. The term is used because they don’t know whether to call him a ‘prisoner of war’, a ‘traitor’ or a ‘criminal’.

*

“Enemy Prisoner of War”
– EPW was used during the Gulf War in 1991 in place of ‘Prisoner of War’. Notice the redundant use of the word ‘enemy’.

*

“Collateral Damage”
– another term coined during the Gulf War to describe the loss of civilian lives in military attacks.