Doublespeak is not a term with which everyone is familiar, although many people use this device in every day language.
Doublespeak, often called "double talk," is the distortion, changing or switching of words to make an unpleasant, tricky or otherwise negative situation not sound as awful. For example, many times people say that someone has "passed on" as opposed to saying that the individual has died. Instead of focusing on the negative aspect that the person has left this world, the speaker places emphasis on the fact that the person has gone on into the next one.
Here are some examples of commonly used phrases that are regarded as doublespeak, and the phrase that people actually mean.
In the case of phrases such as "using the facilities" and "curvy," the speaker is trying to not sound lewd or obnoxious. By using these other words, the speaker does not sound as offensive, even if the true meaning is still really known by the listeners.
This reason for using doublespeak tends to go hand-in-hand with being more polite. For example, words and phrases such as "curvy" and "using the facilities" are more often used in more private situations; however, phrases such as "senior citizens" may be used in more public situations as the socially-accepted, politically correct way of identifying this group of older people.
Often, doublespeak is used to make negative situations sound better, particularly when it comes to death. People say phrases such as "going to the Lord" and "crossed over to the other side" instead of died to remind themselves that the deceased individual is still living somewhere.
Doublespeak is often used in business purposes, and it is often a blend of hiding negativity and being politically correct. Higher ups in companies want to be diplomatic as possible, so they can make situations such as money loss and firing employees not sound as terrible as they really are.
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