Saturday, May 26, 2007

Word of the Day


Invented by Ann Althouse as a more specific alternative to "euphemism" when that word is used in circumstances like this one from Andy McCarthy:

Senator Obama says: " It is time to end this war so that we can redeploy our forces to focus on the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and all those who plan to do us harm."Senator Obama, are you proposing that we move U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, where you guys keep saying the "real" War on Terror is? There is also a very good chance that bin Laden and some al Qaeda hierarchy are in Pakistan. When you say "redeploy," are you suggesting that we invade Pakistan?

Folks, let's not let these guys get away with this. By "redeploy," they don't really mean move the troops to where they say al Qaeda is. They don't want to fight al Qaeda. If they wanted to fight al Qaeda, al Qaeda is in Iraq — that is indisputable. Bin Laden has said repeatedly that Iraq is the central battle. You can argue about whether al Qaeda has been in Iraq all along or whether they are there only because we've drawn them there. Reasonable minds differ on that. But however they got there, they're there.

If you really want to fight al Qaeda, you stay in Iraq.

Ms. Althouse says:

There should be a term for this. Maybe there is, but since I don't know what it is, I'm going to call it a screwphemism. This is a euphemism gone bad. Not only do we see through it and know that you're saying the thing you were hoping to downplay, but we know you were trying to manipulate and deceive. So we know what you're really saying, and we mistrust you for not saying it straight.
Oh, she's got that exactly right. What a lovely word she's invented!

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