I thought I’d iron out some common appropriations of English words and phrases as used by politicians and journalists. Let me know if you have any more suggestions.
accountability. 1. (n.) The state of being duly sniped at while virtuously refraining from voicing any counterargument that would draw attention to the ridiculousness of the snipes. 2. hold to account (v.) To uphold democracy by sniping at one’s opponents.
ban (v.) To voice an opinion that something is perhaps not entirely constructive. Examples include: (a) to suggest that Lord Monckton is not conducive to an informed debate on climate change, and (b) to suggest that junk food advertising during children’s TV programming is not conducive to public health. Also, fascism.
balance (n.) A journalistic ideal whereby truth and rationality are kept in check by things that aren’t true or rational.
come clean (v.) In response to an innocuous misunderstanding, to suddenly, unreservedly and inexplicably admit the most outlandishly horrible interpretation of events. This is entirely hypothetical but nonetheless widely anticipated, as shown by its most common usage, “When will _____ come clean on …?”. For instance, in response to the question, “When will the minister come clean on budget figures?”, said minister may choose to either truthfully describe the dry nuances of the budget, or “come clean” by spontaneously blurting out that tax revenue is being siphoned off for secret genetic experiments on pregnant mothers.
debate. 1. (n.) A choreographed joint press conference held by exactly two people who hate each other. 2. (in parliament) (v.) To toe the line by reiterating talking points, after all decision making has concluded.
democracy (n.) A system of government in which the protagonist wins.
free speech (n.) The right of the media to report in an unrestricted fashion anything that is misleading, voyeuristic, harmful to powerless individuals, or demonstrably false.
hypocrisy (n.) An assumed failure to adhere to someone else’s distorted interpretation of one’s own principles. Hence, a hypocrite is a person who has principles that are possible to misinterpret.
mandate (n.) An obligation of government to behave according to whoever is talking.
message. 1. (n.) A narrative invented by politicians to alleviate journalists from their own jobs. 2. send a message (v.) To commit an act of extraordinary and disproportionate stupidity in the blind hope that others will back off.
not rich (adj.) Having a second percentile income (excluding those who can’t work or can’t find work).
political correctness (n.) A diffuse, pathological quality of all progressive social movements that utterly devastates the lives of the well-off.
public interest (n.) The set of things that people will pay money for despite their better judgement. Hence, the sexual activities of famous people are in the public interest, whereas information on their public responsibilities is not.
tax (n.) Anything complicated done by the government that involves money. Hence, poker machines involve money, so any government policy concerning poker machines is a tax.
values (n.) A set of unspecified attributes we possess that makes us better than everyone else. Hence, a “values”-based electoral campaign is one in which voters are simply reminded of how wonderfully amazing they are.
win (in a debate) (v.) To voice arguments with which the speaker broadly agrees.