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Weasel Words

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posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 03:16 PM
I find it very annoying when people resort to the practice of using weasel words when they speak. It's inherently dishonest, and tends to invalidate any future points or statements they might make.

Politicians and lawyers are the worst! Have you ever noticed how they're usually one and the same? You must go over every word they say with a fine-tooth comb to decide whether there is some hidden meaning in what they have said. There must be a Weasel Words 101 class they take as a requirement for graduation and licensure.

What Exactly are Weasel Words?

Weasel words are deliberately misleading or ambiguous elements of language used to avoid making a straightforward statement while simultaneously generating the illusion that a direct, clear form communication is being utilized. This type of language is used to deceive, distract, or manipulate an audience.

Tactics that are used include vague generalizations; the use of the passive voice; non-sequitur statements; extrapolating through the use of grammatical devices such as qualifiers and the subjunctive; using euphemisms (e.g., replacing "firing staff" with "streamlining the workforce").

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posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 04:21 PM
Good post.

I certainly agree that the whole politics thing has become a paradise of weasels that do the talking while the badgers and foxes do the really dirty work.

posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 04:22 PM
That depends on what your definition of is, is.

posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 04:44 PM
When you hear someone say "words mean everything", believe it! The inclusion or exclusion of just one word or phrase can make all the difference in what they're telling you.

posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 03:18 PM
A wise man once said;

"Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines"

I think thats why we have more weasels than eagles.

posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 04:35 PM
I agree Lloyd45. The management at my work seem to have a PhD in weasel words. With so many people crying foul and running to human resources at the slightest offence, they've buffered themselves and these people with low self esteem from anything that could be construed as discriminatory. I suspect this is why politicians and lawyers speak this way as well.

I know some lawyers, and they're pretty normal people outside of the courtroom

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