Saturday, October 23, 2010


Love Klemperer's work on the language of military and dictatorial obfuscation (He called it LTI, Lingua Tertii Imperii -- Language of the Third Reich).

Less love for the NY Times' application thereof.

As for instance here.

Cutting off a detainee’s fingers and burning him with acid -- that's not torture; that is merely, sez the Times, 'abuse' -- a physical maltreatment. (Step up from an oopsie, shall we assume?)

Enter Rob Beschizza, with his awesome and insightful NYT torture euphemism generator.

I hope the LTI-inspired folks at the NYT (and in our government) click and click this app until they finally realize what they are doing.

And hang their head in shame.

(Fat chance.)

Merriam-Webster's definition of torture:

1 a : anguish of body or mind : agony

b : something that causes agony or pain

2 : the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure

3 : distortion or overrefinement of a meaning or an argument : straining


(Under definition 3, of course, the NYT is clearly torturing the very definition of torture.)

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