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Jan 5, 2012
This week's theme
"New" words

This week's words
numinous
noosphere
nutate
newspeak
pneumatic

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

newspeak

PRONUNCIATION:
(NOO-speek, NYOO-)

MEANING:
noun: Deliberately ambiguous or euphemistic language used for propaganda.

ETYMOLOGY:
Coined by George Orwell in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Newspeak was the official language of Oceania. In Newspeak, English was called Oldspeak. Earliest documented use: 1949.

NOTES:
The most insidious newspeak term to come out in recent years is for torture. In newspeak it becomes "enhanced interrogation", as if regular torture makes use of tap water, but in enhanced interrogation you get nothing less than Evian.

USAGE:
"An Imperial Tobacco memo predicted that the trend towards fewer smokers could 'virtually wipe us off the map' within 50 years. The writer recommended the company target 'starters' -- company newspeak for teens."
Mindelle Jacobs; Smoke And Mirrors Fool No One; The Edmonton Sun (Canada); Nov 23, 1999.

See more usage examples of newspeak in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so. -Robert A. Heinlein, science-fiction author (1907-1988)

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