Double Speak

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November 1, 2001

Doublespeak, whether intentional or unintentional is communication that is obscure, pompous, vague, evasive and confusing.() In most instances, doublespeak tries to achieve a particular objective as is the case in President Bush's address to the nation on September 11, after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The objective of this speech is clearly to mollify the emotions of a frightened nation and at the same time set the tone for what is to come as a result of the attacks. In this speech one can find many examples of doublespeak. These examples seem to be intentional although they defy typical doublespeak in that the doublespeak is not intended for any personal gains and is not concealed with a lot of convoluted language. If one can understand some of the basic principles about making sense of media-speak then the domino effect of this type of speech can be reduced.

One of the first statements President Bush makes in his speech can be classified as doublespeak. When he say's "Our way of life, our very freedom came under attack," he is indirectly saying that everything Americans are accustomed to and enjoy is at stake. With these simple words and the tone chosen to deliver them President Bush is strategically taking the emotions of the American people for a ride while making it clear that the American people are his target audience. An important principle for properly deciphering this instance of doublespeak is to unload first responses and get them out in the open so the rest of the message can be received clearly and unobstructed by inner thoughts. Other examples of doublespeak that fit into the same category as the previous one are when President Bush uses the phrases, "Foundation of America" and "Steel of American Resolve." Both of these examples attempt to evoke an emotional response although, the emotions attempting to be extracted are different from those in the beginning of the speech. They...
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