Voice Card  -  Volume 12  -  Paul Card Number 3  -  Thu, Jan 4, 1990 11:29 PM

I enclose the following from John Gleeson, extracted from the Nashua Telegraph - AP article, 21-Nov.


The Doublespeak committee of the National Council Of Teachers recently made it's 1988 Doublespeak awards.

First prize went to US military officials for their report of the downing of the Iranian airliner by the USS Vincennes. The report was filled with "the doublespeak of ommission, distortion, contradiction, and misdirection. Something as basic and important as a map showing the course, over time, of the Vincennes, it's sister ships, the Iranian airliner, and the gunboats was not included". Even so, the Secretary of Defense, Frank Carlucci told the public "we chose not to withhold anything".

Second place went to an anonymous Reagan administration official who denied that there was any administration cover-up of Honduran military officials' involvement in drug crimes. The spokesman said "it wasn't that there was a cover-up. It's just that people knew that certain questions shouldn't be asked".

Third place went to Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah, for his statement that "capital punishment is our society's recognition of the sanctity of human life".

Close runners-up:

  • Philadelphia doctors at a hospital later closed for mismanagement describing one patient's death as a "diagnostic misadventure of a high magnitude". "They killed the guy by perforating his colon", the committee chairman said.
  • A plane crash described as an "uncontrolled contact with the ground".
  • A stockbroker's description of the October '87 crash, as a "fourth quarter equity retreat".
  • The 5,000 workers at a Chrysler AMC plant thinking that a new "career alternative enhancement program" had an enticing ring to it - then found out that their plant was closing and they were out of jobs!
  • And the US Department of Agriculture's description of cows, pigs and chickens, as "grain-consuming animal units."