DoubleSpeak, How to Lie without Lying

DoubleSpeak, How to Lie without Lying

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[Music] in the winter of 1847 George Donner the co-leader of California bound group of American settlers engaged in interest species protein reallocation in order to maintain metabolic integrity however his failure to fulfill caloric obligations in a timely manner rendered him unbel 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 a
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clear pleasant the unattractive appear attractive basically it's 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 who's treacherous mountain climb of my energy bar company sponsored cannibalized his climbing partner it would be better for me to say something that technically communicates its information but doesn't sound as terrible Lutz says there are at least
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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 tonight for parents is the watchword that triumvirate of Twinkies merely overwhelmed by resolve the concept of
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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 double speak though is rarely about deliberately lying for example in January 2015 Sid Miller became the agriculture commissioner of the state with the fifth fattest high schoolers in the country Texas so that same year along with announcing a plan to combat obesity
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he now has 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 in Texas schools buy 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 I'm
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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 a way that you would like for example would 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
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employers 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
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objectively and unembellished euphemisms like passed away instead of died or big-boned for fat our words are phrases that are usually used to avoid a distasteful reality William Lutz says that this is the first 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
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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
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of accelerated negative growth can be annoying but certain forms of doublespeak are just deceitful in Chapter two under the section that doublespeak of graphs let's gives a dated but clear visual example of doublespeak here is another chart their tax cuts 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
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this red space between the two lines is the tax money that will remain in your pockets if our bill passes let's goes on to point out that there are no numbers on this chart which means that you have no perspective to evaluate it with when you make the dollar scale from zero dollars to $2,500 rather than the awkward mm $150 to $2,400 it appears much less impressive this kind of graphical doublespeak also appears elsewhere used by the pharmaceutical industry for the heart
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protecting cholesterol-lowering wonder drug statins so here's the ad in which you see that lipitor reduced the coronary events and risk for heart disease by 36 percent so this was a really important study the one that ultimately drove lipitor to generate over 100 billion dollars in revenue so I'm going to show you the actual data from the study and it's right here but here are the actual data from this study and somewhere in
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here is a 36 percent risk reduction when you compare plus C but 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 the blue bars that is a 36% reduction yes this is the wonder drug effect this is the effect that propelled lipitor to generate over a hundred billion dollars in revenue how can that be a thirty six
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percent reduction in risk when you calculate it and you look at the data the actual difference is 1.1 percent this is where you do some statistical hijinks you take that one point one percent difference between the groups then you have the difference between placebo and 100 if you're not following me it doesn't matter because it's a silly right so you take the 1 point 1 divided by 3 what do you get you get 36 okay it's 36% and that's why they say
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there is a 36% reduction and so if you have truth and advertising I think the 1% should actually be in the end limit our reduces heart attack by 1 percent by the way if your 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 to them is all over
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the place franklin's doesn't do issues he does language around issues he figures out what words will best sell an issue in Frank Luntz his 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 and change their behavior even change their attitudes for example the gambling industry became the gaming industry and completely
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changed its perception despite nothing about the industry actually changing as lunch 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 named MGM Grand New York New York but one of the other family-friendly resorts in Las Vegas the gambling is a vise Gaming is a choice he begins his work
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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 dice 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
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lexicon and replacing it with the more emotional more personal death tax in his book originally published in January 2007 let says a clear but somewhat narrow majority of Americans today support eliminating the so-called estate tax but more than seventy percent would abolish the death tax it's the same tax but nobody really knows what in the status but they certainly know what it means to be taxed when you die the death
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tax that's what I don't want to give tax just because I died 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 Li Lantz took Patagonian toothfish and renamed it Chilean sea bass over here because he knew no one would have to fish for dinner so when people come to
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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 well to hearing that a catastrophic blunder killed your wife and child during a caesarean delivery so it's better to describe the anesthesiologist 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
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in Los Angeles the surgeons killed the 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 double speak 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 double speak or not depends on where you use it for example
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describing your computer keyboard key to your friend as a catastrophic ly buckling compression column switch and actuator is unnecessary but is an appropriate descriptor to use in a patent after giving President Reagan a routine physical examination dr. Daniel Rouge said that previously documented decrement in auditory acuity and visual refractive error corrected with contact lenses were evaluated and found to be stable that sounds a lot more impressive than saying the president's hearing and
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eyesight haven't changed since his last exam and finally William Lutz says the third type of doublespeak is gobbledygook for bureaucratese basically such a double speak as 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 that they really 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
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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 is not by design drastically improved I think we have been able to characterize it performance more as a function of our launch experience as opposed to it improving as a function of time pretty much everyone will at some point
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dress up facts in some kind of way even in our day to day lives people use doublespeak because from a young age we learned that consequences exist so tell me didn't you eat the chocolate cake just because someone uses doublespeak doesn't make them a crook but when you don't quite understand what is being said about something important to you it's good to ask what exactly is this person saying for example you might be
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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 the 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 Lotso mortgage bonds are dog [ __ ] CDOs are dog [ __ ] wrapped in cat [ __ ] yeah that's right and something I've been
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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 or my excessive use of BHT containing cosmetics maybe this detox tea product could help me detoxify metals or PCBs or something
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like that but I wouldn't know because all I can find about the ingredients is that they are time proven to help your body with the detoxifying process the following thought experiment is brought to you by brilliant in 1955 Tom Ewell was sitting on the floor of his house drinking champagne with Marilyn Monroe the glass of champagne constantly produces gas bubbles on the bottom which rise to the surface suddenly a bout of appendix pain causes
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you all to drop his glass what happens to the bubbles in the glass as it falls eight new bubbles form and rise just as they did before the new bubbles form but they never start rising see all the rising bubbles fall to the bottom or D all the rising bubbles remain fixed in place wants to know the answer in explanation check out brilliant org a website designed to make topics like physics math logic and computer science fun and engaging with daily challenges like the
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champagne glass one and over fifty interactive courses that you can even access offline on your smart phone you can learn wherever you are whenever you have time so if you want to dive into a course pack with stories code writing and interactive challenges or keep your mind sharp with bite-sized daily challenges check out brilliant org slash WIIL and the first 200 people to follow my link will get 20% off the annual subscription

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