Thursday, April 2, 2009

Uh-hem. Don't we mean "person" caused disasters.

NYT has an interesting article on whether the Obama administration has actually changed Bush's foreign policy or just changed the rhetoric.  Okay. 

My favorite new catch-phrase (by far) is the new term for a terrorist act: "man-caused disaster."

What a strange decision.  I understand the desire to change the tone of the discussion, but do we really need a euphemism for terrorism?  Who are we afraid of offending?

Moreover, "man-caused disaster" is a giant step back for our ability to communicate clearly.  It is much more squishy and ambiguous than "terrorist act."  Wasn't the Exxon Valdez crash a "man caused disaster"?  Aren't forest fires often "man caused disasters"?


I'm going to stop being so damn critical of the Obama Administration.  It only seems to cause hurt feelings among his devoted followers.

To prove that I am serious about turning over a new leaf, I have decided to assist the Obama Administration in ridding the English language of words that suggest evil actually exists.

For example, we should no longer refer to "murder."  They are "man-caused deaths."  

We also should not talk about "rape."  It's "man-caused penetration."  

There was no "genocide" in Rwanda.  It was a "man-caused population reduction."

(Man-caused tip to Althouse)


  1. If you're using Althouse for your tips- well, there really isn't much to say, is there?

    Good luck.

  2. It would be interesting if you could follow that up with something of substance.