Satiric radio commentary for the 90s from the man who drained Lake Michigan and filled it with hot chocolate!!!

Dishing Out "Doublespeak"

Stan Freberg here. As a student of language, I try and keep up with "doublespeak." I was looking at some of the best examples over the past few years and realized that one of the great suppliers of doublespeak is the U.S. Government. That's the same government that started calling sewage "regulated organic nutrients." Be right back. [:60 SPOT BREAK]

Freberg here. "Doublespeak," the Orwellian term for saying one thing but meaning another, is all around us. For example, at some point, the used car people stopped calling them "used cars." The correct term now is "pre-enjoyed cars." Dr. William Lutz, a Rutgers University professor who gives quarterly awards to the worst doublespeakers, gave one to architects, who now refer to doors as "entry systems." How would that've worked out for the rock group, The Doors?: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Entry Systems!"

And as I say, the Government has come up with some beauts. The U.S. Department of Agriculture--in place of words like "pigs," "cows" and "sheep"--have given us the cumbersome phrase, "grain consuming animal units." Let's see..."Old McDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O/And on this farm he had some grain consuming animal units..." Yeah, that works, sure.

And it's not just our government that dishes out doublespeak. During the Persian Gulf War the government of Saudi, Arabia officially designated all women soldiers in the U.S. Armed Forces as "Males with female features."

Thanks for clarifying that for us!

Stan Freberg here.

Copyright (C)1997, Stan Freberg/Freberg, Ltd. (but not very) Distributed by Dick Brescia Associates and Radio Spirits, Inc.