The Truth Behind Doublespeak
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Professor SwansonEnglish 104 1 May 2013 The Truth Behind Doublespeak Doublespeak is a clever process of disguising the true meaning of words. Doublespeak is a great way to address “improvement areas” without offending individuals. William Lutz’s article “Doubts about Doublespeak” is full of many different examples of doublespeak. The reoccurring theme of this article was that even though doublespeak has its positives, it had mostly negative effects. Lutz believes that Doublespeak is misleading because it hides the simple truth of unpleasant information. When I was working for the first time at a pizza shop, I had many experiences with doublespeak without even realizing it. My manager was criticizing me by using many manipulative phrases, followed by compliments. Doublespeak is a great tool to hide unpleasant ideas such as situations involved with school or jobs but in all, Doublespeak is just a pathetic attempt to hide the harsh truth. Doublespeak changes what we all agree is a common ground, our language. Doublespeak flips good things into bad things and vice versa. People that get caught up in double speak often get lost, confused, or even overwhelmed. “Doublespeakers” go out of their way to change simple information to make it more suitable to talk about. Lutz writes, “Doublespeak is language carefully designed and constructed to appear to communicate when in fact it doesn’t” (149). What Lutz is trying to say is that doublespeak changes what we all agree is a common ground, our language. The purpose of language is to communicate with others clearly. However, doublespeak creates alternative meanings, for the simplest conversations, and keeps people from communicating effectively.
Many Sophisticated individuals, working in careers such as insurance, use Doublespeak to intentionally overwhelm their customers to boost profits. Workplaces use doublespeak as an advantage because they know much more about their products than the consumer does. Insurance is specifically designed to sound as complex as possible so that companies can maximize their profits without any questions asked. Everyone has a different level of intelligence. Therefore, language should be simplified for everyone’s understanding. In a way, insurance brokers rip people off by bombarding them with hidden fees and confusing, fine printed contracts. Luz explains, “It alters our perception of reality” (150). Lutz is trying to explain the impact has on society. Doublespeak attacks unsuspecting victims and they don’t even see it coming. The combination of intelligence and lies, known as doublespeak, is an unethical way to get what one wants. I unknowingly experienced doublespeak ,at my first job, because my manger wanted to fabricate his complaints which negatively affected my performance. Since this was my first job, I wanted to put in my best effort. At first, I thought I was doing well because my manager always had nothing but good things to say about my hard work. However, I was oblivious to the fact that my manager always used this technique where he would say things such as “Fantastic work, however you should look into exploring alternative skills for this company”. I thought I was being praised until one day my manager told me in simple words that he wanted me to go make salads instead of taking orders because I was too slow. I was very offended because I thought I was doing all the correct things. I was not aware of my weaknesses because my manger was not communicating with me properly. If my manger simply told me exactly what I was doing wrong, I could have fixed my mistakes and continued taking orders rather than being cooped up in the kitchen making salads all night. My manger tried to use doublespeak to mask his criticism which resulted in confusion and did not solve any problems with my performance at work. Doublespeak is very problematic because it transforms thoughts and perceptions of many people every day. What do people really get out of rephrasing their thoughts to just to sound appealing? Doublespeak misleads and confuses people. Language on its own can be completely altered by itself. When my boss decided to use doublespeak on me, it made me think I was doing my job correctly when I was obviously not. If my manger told me directly in normal words that I was doing a bad job, maybe I would have been able to become a better cashier. Doublespeak should be avoided in order to regulate common ground with all individuals and to retain the true meaning of language: communication.