Thursday, February 5, 2015

Doublespeak In Contemporary Society

Rhetorical Media and Civic Life
Blog Post 1
Paige Osborne
February 2, 2015

            Doublespeak is language used in the real world to confuse or distort its meaning rather than achieve understanding, according to our text, (Keith and Lundberg). Keith and Lundberg gave the examples of Hitler’s, “Work will set you free,” and the government’s transformation from body bags during the Vietnam War, to the Gulf’s “human remains pouches,” to the present day, “transfer tubes.”
For my own example, I found a case over twenty years old that still hasn’t been resolved. In Leondro v. the state, the courts have been determining whether the state has been keeping children in low-income areas of the state from getting a basic education.
The school board made a decision last March that changed the way that they defined requirements for students. The main change was, “a mid-range score that deems tested third-graders as prepared for the next grade level, but requiring continuing help from a teacher to perform successfully in fourth grade,” (Dalesio, 2015.)
Basically, the school board watered down the requirements of teaching, so it could meet the, “basic education” standards set forth by the federal government. This is a blatant representation of doublespeak because by changing the meaning of basic, it changed the idea that the school district was giving a fair education, when really the requirements of the school board changed enough so that they didn’t have to give as much funding to educate their students. I think this is a great example of doublespeak because it shows how doublespeak is still relevant in our society today, and how those in power manipulate language to benefit themselves.

Works Cited

Dalesio, E. (2015, January 20). Judge orders NC schools to explain 'academic double-speak' Retrieved February 2, 2015, from

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