Sunday, October 21, 2007

Words of the Weasel Part 4


Good sounding adjective often used to make ineffective things sound effective. For instance “holistic medicine” refers to a mixture of faith healing and herbal remedies. A “holistic approach” is recommended for dealing with thorny problems to which no solution is apparent. "A holistic approach" always sounds good.


Bureaucrat speak for “finish”. Finalize is wordier and more pompous sounding than the standard word.

Cycle of Violence

Usually used to describe things like the Arab-Israeli or Indian-Pakistani conflicts. The phrase implies a moral equivalence between the two sides, and that if only both sides would refrain from retaliation for the other side’s acts of violence, peace would break out. Shakespeare omce said “A plague on both your houses”. Use of this phrase suggests the commentator is ignorant of the history and causes of the conflict or too lazy to become informed Most newspeople are profoundly ignorant and lazy.

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