Saturday, July 30, 2011

Transportation Safety Language Patdown

You may have seen us manhandling children and little old ladies at the airport. Now you can watch us do the same to the English language so we don't have to use bad words.  It turns out children and little old ladies prefer not to be patted down by uniformed strangers in the middle of the airport. They don’t seem to enjoy it at all. To make them happy, we are poised to introduce “new behavior detection techniques” at airports all over America. In fact, we already have “behavior detection officers” in place at quite a few airport checkpoints. Some people call “behavior detection techniques” “profiling,” but we don’t like to do that because we think the p-word is ugly. We have been studying Israeli “behavior detection techniques,” but we’re not going to admit we plan to adopt them because “critics have said the Israeli program . . . may involve a degree of religious and racial profiling that would draw controversy in the U.S.” We are allowed to use the p-word when we are talking about what Israelis do, but we would be very sad if people accused us of p-wording anybody. We do have to find a new way to p-word behavior-detect children, though, because “adults have used children as suicide bombers before in other contexts and could do so through an airport.” Of course, we are not going to point any fingers at those adults, or make any insensitive assumptions about what those “other contexts” might possibly be. But don’t worry: There will be fewer patdowns of children because of “new protocols” that will keep our personnel from having to p-word the adults who like to use children as bombs. It’s more problematic to behavior-detect little old ladies without p-wording them, “because a large number of people on terrorist watch and enhanced screening lists are older,” but we have a pilot program for that.


1 comment:


    "... The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought -- that is, a thought diverging from the principles of IngSoc -- should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meaning and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meaning whatever..."