Politico has a good article that analyses and teaches you how to speak like a politician.
Complaints about political language are hardly new. In a famous 1946 essay, George Orwell groused that it âis designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.â But if anything, doubletalk and weasel words proliferate now more than ever. Theyâre a manifestation of both partiesâ desires to doggedly stay on message amid a rapacious 24-7 news cycle and the compulsion of some politicians to pass judgmentâon Twitter, on TV or in Politicoâon most of the issues that surface during it.
In doing research for our new book on political rhetoric, we came across five general categories of Washington-speakâthe devices that todayâs politicians use in their never-ending quests to one-up each other while, at the same time, appearing spontaneousâand productiveâto voters. Hereâs what you need to know to keep up with the best of themâif thatâs what you want to do.
Once you notice these you will be better armed at detecting bull ordure.
1. The polite knife in the back. Politicians like to be liked. So even when sticking it to an opponent, they have an incentive to stay positive. Even casual C-SPAN viewers will recognize the most common forms of this passive-aggressive approach.
Take âmy good friendââpolitician-speak for somebody he or she often canât stand. âMy good friendâ is most commonly used on the House or Senate floors when addressing a colleague. Usually itâs a thinly veiled way of showing contempt for the other lawmaker while adhering to congressional rules of decorum. When Democratic Rep. Gene Green of Texas first arrived on Capitol Hill in the early 1990s, he recalled, âThe joke we had was, when someone calls you their good friend, look behind you. I try not to say it unless people really are my good friends.ââ Â Read more »