In George Orwell's novel 1984, people used "newspeak" and "doublethink" and thus, a few years later, the term "doublespeak" was created. It was used in the early ‘50s to describe the words of politicians who were making an effort to sound as if they were saying something without really saying anything. More recently, “doublespeak” has been employed as a way to cover up lies and used to say two contradictory things at the same time by not only politicians, but the media, government officials, businesses, and environmental groups.
Most politicians today are quite adept at “doublespeak.” For instance, a politician can now say with a straight face that they voted for something before they voted against it, making it the right position to be both for and against the same thing! And then, of course, there’s the news/political doublespeak about Affirmative Action and Racial Discrimination, which have both come to mean "preferential treatment for a particular group."
And let me remind you about environmental doublespeak regarding paid “environmentalists” who promote seals, rather than children in La Jolla Cove. By their failure to be advocates for children at the Children’s Pool, these often non San Diegans, are supporting seal water pollution as well as an unnatural increase in seal population at the same time.
And now our utility companies and cities are using doublespeak. I just received my “Water and Sewer Rate Update from the City of Carlsbad.” In the flyer, it states that “Water and sewer rate increases will be smaller than previously approved for customers in the City of Carlsbad’s service area, thanks to reduced operating cots and better than expected revenues.” That statement made me proud of my local government. However, then I read the doublespeak words on the other side of the flyer which explained how “Carlsbad had passed water and sewer rate increases for 2012 and 2013,” which would increase water rates by 10 percent and sewer rates by 6.5 percent, but that these rates will now decrease. The flyer explains: “Water rates will go up 8 percent instead of 10 percent, and sewer rates will increase 2 percent instead of 6 percent. “ Hell Oh, Carlsbad! That’s a sizable rate increase which I did indeed pay in my last bill.
And the same day I paid that bill, I received the statement from AT&T, defining the company’s doublespeak words under IMPORTANT INFORMATION, which I dare bet few people read. Under “SURCHARGES AND OTHER FEES, AT&T imposes the following additional charges: 1) a Regulatory Cost Recovery of up to $1.25 to help defray its cost incurred in complying with obligations and charges imposed by state and federal telecom regulations: 2) a cross receipts surcharge, 3) state and federal universal service charges, and 4) other government assessments, including without limitations a Property Tax Allotment surcharge of $0.20 - $0.45 applied per Corporate Responsibility User’s assigned number. These fees are not taxes or government-required charges” HUH? Not government required. Help! Now I don’t blame AT&T for this one, because I know government regulations control so much of company finances these days.
And so I move forward, but not without mentioning the wonderful job our representatives at the local, state, and federal levels are doing for us. Believe that and I have a bridge in Carlsbad I’d like to sell you.