Thursday, January 19, 2006

Euphemisms 'R' US

I remember watching George Carlin on Saturday Night Live in the 70s and howling at his plays on words- plastic glass, jumbo shrimp and military intelligence; but as with all tools there are good word plays and bad word plays.

The, according to Carlin, oxymoronic, military intelligence, is one of the leaders in the field, with such dissimulations as smart bombs, surgical strikes and everyone's favorite, collateral damage. Two other industries, if you will, which are leaders in the field of dissimulation, finance and politics have recently been caught joining forces again and you guessed it, the english language ended up being tortured and twisted in the process. If we don't watch out people will end up running away from this language like they did with Latin.

Remember when day trading used to refer to some guy wearing pajamas, working from home and trading off of his CNBC screen. Some people hope you still have that image in mind when the new charges of "day trading" Washington DC style hit the mainstream. In the new, new jargon, day trading refers to the practice of passing "political intelligence" from the Capitol to Wall St.

What's "political intelligence"?, you ask, another Carlin-esque oxymoron? Now that you mention it....but seriously folks, "political intelligence" refers to stuff like congressional vote results before the vote is actually taken. Wouldn't it be nice to know, for instance, that some new aero-space venture was about to be approved, before it actually was approved? Well then, get ye some "political intelligence" or as they used to call it, "inside information" before they make it illegal again.

ps When is a security breach a welcome event?

2 comments:

Heidi said...

like jorge borges don't you....

Dude said...

yes, I enjoyed reading Borges, but I should change my list there as I've finished him.