Post Your Favorite Government Euphemisms Now!

 

Outstripp’s posting of this animation on Quantitative Easing got me thinking (and laughing) about my favorite part of the English languish: Euphemisms. And no one does them better than government agencies. Just think about the thought that went into this…”quantitative easing” just means “printing more money.” And “earmarks.” So much nicer to say than “pet projects that cost a lot, don’t do much but mean I will get re-elected.” What are some of our Rico’s favorites?

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  1. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @Pseudodionysius

    “Revenue neutral” and “tax expenditure” and “targeted tax cut”

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    @flownover

    All from the WH:

    excellent transit cooperation-

    old cycles of boom and bust that led to that crisis-

    commercial deliverables-

    commitment to government transparency-

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Inactive
    @user_19450

    The “Fairness Doctrine” along with the “Fairness in Broadcasting Act” were a couple of wildly misleading Congressional euphemisms.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @EJHill

    Investment Paying school administrators $250K/year is an investment in our children. Bailing out Fannie and Freddie was an investment.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @Pilgrim

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act = govspeak for death panels and national bankruptcy

    • #5
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    @MichaelTee

    Earned Income Tax Credit.

    I want my Unearned Income Tax Credits!

    “War on” anything

    Troubled Asset Relief Program.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Contributor
    @UrsulaHennessey

    These are not gov’t euphamisms, but they are in the spirit of this post.

    As a former teacher who dreaded parent-teacher conferences, I found this article by Linda Starr very funny. Here are some of her tried-and-true euphemisms for parents:

    Molly demonstrates problems with spatial relationships.It’s November and she still hasn’t found her cubby. Paul’s leadership qualities need to be more democratically directed.He’s a bully. Jonathan accomplishes tasks when his interest is stimulated.He has the attention span of a gnat. Donald is making progress in learning to express himself respectfully.He no longer uses vulgarities when talking back to me. Alfred demonstrates some difficulty meeting the challenges of information retention.He’d forget his name if it wasn’t taped to his desk. Bunny needs encouragement in learning to form lasting friendships.Nobody likes her. Kenny is working toward grade level.He may even reach it — next year. Joel appears to be aware of all classroom activities.He just can’t focus on the one we’re involved in.

    David frequently appears bored and restless. You might want to consider placing him in a more challenging environment.

    Prison, perhaps?

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    @CaseyTaylor

    Spending cut.

    • #8
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    @Paladin

    Affirmative Action meaning…racism. AKA “white males need not apply.” In higher education also can mean “Asians and Jews heavily discriminated against.”

    Stimulus was a good one too.

    Multiculturalism meaning we are going to disparage everything European or Christian as evil and build up everything else as the height of civilization and sophistication.

    Diversity meaning similar things to affirmative action.

    Freedom of Religion meaning you’d better not try to practice Christianity in public.

    • #9
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    @PeterHintz

    Overseas contingency operations.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Member
    @Ansonia

    Planned Parenthood

    • #11
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    @MBF
    Galer Dolan: Planned Parenthood · Nov 15 at 9:47am

    Pro “choice”.

    Nope, sorry, you’re pro abortion.

    • #12
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    @CasBalicki

    Government: The fiction that allows some to think they can get something for nothing.

    Diplomacy: “Telling the other guy to go to Hell in a way that ensures he enjoys the trip” — L.B. Pearson.

    United Nations ’nuff said.

    People’s Democratic: Any country that has democratic in it’s name isn’t.

    Resigning to spend more time with the family: Means the guy got lanced like a boil.

    Astro turf: Meaning genuine outrage among the populace.

    Teamster: Money for nothin’ chicks for free.

    I broke even: The guy lost his shirt in Vegas.

    Rap music: Is not what it claims to be.

    Reaching across the aisle for support: Nobody in my party likes the bill.

    Bipartisan support: “A bra.” — Bill Clinton.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MichaelTee
    Ursula Hennessey: These are not gov’t euphamisms, but they are in the spirit of this post.

    As a former teacher who dreaded parent-teacher conferences, I found this article by Linda Starr very funny. Here are some of her tried-and-true euphemisms for parents:

    David frequently appears bored and restless. You might want to consider placing him in a more challenging environment.

    Prison, perhaps?

    Nov 15 at 9:14am

    This must be written by a teacher. The reason the kid is bored and restless is because he’s smart and is bored by the material and restless because his relatively immature classmates are still working on 2+2 = 4.

    Sorry for the threadjack.

    • #14
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    @Eiros

    Death, as in shooting a suspect to death, is referred to as “maximum incapacitation.”

    • #15
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    @

    “Social Justice” – An elegant term for wealth redistribution.

    • #16
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    @LadyKurobara

    Since the environmental movement is closely allied with liberal politics, I will submit one of my pet peeves, a euphemism so old and so deeply entrenched that most people no longer recognize the word as a euphemism: wetlands.

    I grew up in the country and I know all about “wetlands.” But back in my younger days, we unenlightened rural types called them “stinking, filthy, leech-haunted, mosquito-ridden swamps.” Apparently, that description was not glamorous enough for the environmentalists.

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  18. Profile Photo Inactive
    @LadyKurobara
    Michael Tee

    David frequently appears bored and restless. You might want to consider placing him in a more challenging environment.

    Prison, perhaps?

    This must be written by a teacher. The reason the kid is bored and restless is because he’s smart and is bored by the material and restless because his relatively immature classmates are still working on 2+2 = 4.

    Sorry for the threadjack.

    I had the very same thought. Coincidentally, one of my grade school chums was a “David” who was chronically bored in class. He learned everything quickly and constantly outpaced his classmates. You will not be surprised when I tell you that he was labeled a “problem child” and treated very cruelly by the teachers and administrators who did everything in their power to crush his spirit – even to the point of actively encouraging other children to bully him for being a “show-off.”

    That is the sort of school environment that your taxes pay for, folks.

    Sorry for jacking the threadjack.

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Inactive
    @JMHanes

    Does NewSpeak count?

    Constitutional prerogatives = Earmarks

    Waiver = GOTV Bipartisan = Face It, I Won

    Filthy Rich = Your Boss

    As I’ve Always Said = Exec Lies on Videotapes

    New Era of Responsibility = The Buck Stops There

    Free Choice = Unionization

    Science = Relativity

    Scientific Consensus = Oxymoron

    Secretary of HHS = Czarina

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Member
    @ScottR

    Failed trolley cars are re-introduced under the name “light-rail,” which soon enough will fail as well.

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Palaeologus

    “collateral damage”: we killed folks we didn’t aim for

    “alternative energy”: unproductive sources of energy

    “fair trade”: tariffs

    “free trade”: America buys & sells, other countries almost exclusively sell

    “living wage”: unemployment is too low

    “reform”: we’re gonna make a problem worse

    “strategic partners”: rivals

    “pragmatic solution”: illegal solution

    Well, you did ask Denise.

    But my absolute favorite has to be “traffic calming.” That is, the practice of intentionally making traffic jams worse in an effort to reduce traffic.

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    @JimmyCarter

    Postal Service.

    • #22
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    @Paladin

    OH! I forgot my favorite one.

    The endless government bureaucrats who are constantly looking for more ways to inconvenience us by adding regulations, taxes, and oversight into every aspect of our lives, all while collecting very comfortable salaries, good benefits and lavish pensions (all from your tax dollars!) have the nerve to call themselves…

    Civil Servants.

    • #23
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    @Layla

    Out: Terrorism.

    In: Man-caused disasters.

    I love this one because it makes it so much easier to include the angler who drops his candy bar wrapper streamside in with the al Qaeda operative who blows up a hotel. Man-caused disaster!

    • #24
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    @JMHanes

    Partner, Partnership, Partnering.

    If you could only have one euphemism, this is the one you’d want. Government take over, check. Subsidy, check. Totalitarian regime, check. You name it, check.

    Back before I decided I wasn’t cut out to be a blogger, I took a tour of Obama’s draft proposal for the 2008 Democratic platform, highlighter in hand. Et voilá, The Howdy Partner Platform.

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Member
    @tabularasa

    “Infrastructure investment”: raise government salaries

    “fairness”: take money from workers and give it to non-workers

    “make no mistake”: untruth to follow

    “shovel-ready project”: projects that will never actually need a shovel (see “infrastructure investment,” above)

    alternative “shovel-ready project” definition: a project in which the only use for a shovel will be to shovel B.S. to the American public

    • #26

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