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Concept.png Doublespeak 
(propaganda,  wordSourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png

Doublespeak is language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words - it is most closely associated with political language.

Edward S. Herman

The writer Edward S. Herman cited what he saw as examples of doublespeak and doublethink in modern society. Herman describes in his book Beyond Hypocrisy[1] the principal characteristics of doublespeak:

What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program.


Doublespeak is a word believed to be derived from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Although the word is not actually used in the book, it is portmanteau of two of the book's central concepts, "doublethink" and "Newspeak".



An example

Page nameDescription
"National security"Like the idea of 'Patriotism', the notion of 'National Security' is one designed to bind all members of a society together. By evoking fear of its opposite it creates a suitable psychological frame for the abdication of personal responsibility to the nation state. In the 21st century, the concept is repeated like a mantra in en effort to justify ever more opaqueness in the workings of governments tired of legal restrictions such as rights of their citizens.


Related Quotation

Věra JourováDisinformation waves have hit Europe during the Coronavirus pandemic. They originated from within as well as outside the EU. To fight disinformation, we need to mobilise all relevant players from online platforms to public authorities, and support independent fact checkers and media. While online platforms have taken positive steps during the pandemic, they need to step up their efforts. Our actions are strongly embedded in fundamental rights, in particular freedom of expression and information.”Věra Jourová10 June 2020
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