Understanding The Meaning Of Doublespeak! How Does It Affect Us?

Last Update on June 16, 2022 : Published on June 17, 2022

Have you ever been manipulated? I am sure most of you must have experienced manipulation and I know it doesn’t feel good. Doublespeak is one of the most common types of manipulations done through a very clever way of using language.

The most common example of doublespeak is seen in advertisements. Most ads make strong claims, and the language of those claims is very strategically organized to easily make people believe in what they are saying and not what actually is the truth.

In today’s world, we are victims of doublespeak almost in every aspect of life. Some real-life examples of doublespeak look like pharmaceutical companies saying “minor side effects” when the actual side effect is heart failure. Many people use the term “ethnic cleansing” for genocide, “we are restructuring the company” for basically firing people, “sugar-free snack” for traditional whiter sugar has been replaced with synthetic sweetener, etc.

Want to know more about doublespeak?

Here you go;

What Is Doublespeak?


Doublespeak is a manipulative strategy of making a statement, claim, or simply passing information in order to make it sound a lot less harsh and harmful as it really is. Doublespeak is like a protective shield used by manipulators. It also rescues them from being labeled a liar because ‘technically’ they aren’t lying, they have just tweaked the truth a little.

 – doublespeak is referred to the language that is obscure, ambiguous and euphemistic in nature. It basically means not portraying the truth as it is but sugar coating it so that it doesn’t appear as harsh as it really is.

Also Read: Signs of Emotional Manipulation: 5 Ways to Stop Emotional Manipulation

Understanding Different Types Of Doublespeak With Doublespeak Examples


Doublespeak can be divided into different types. Let’s understand doublespeak with the help of examples. Here you go;

1.Euphemism: bending the truth

Examples of doublespeak, Euphemism type

  • ‘A bit fragile’ for low quality
  • ‘Not the best’ for bad
  • ‘Person of interest’ for suspect

2.Jargons: representative language

Examples of doublespeak, Jargon type

  • ‘Collateral damage’ for let’s others suffer for your gain
  • ‘Ethnic cleansing’ for genocide
  • ‘Violent extremism’ for terrorism

3.Inflated language: using over the top expression

Examples of doublespeak, inflated language type

  • ‘The best place in the world’ for a good place
  • ‘New and improved version’ for change in packaging
  • ‘Right size serving’ for more air and less chips in a snack bag

4.Gobbledygook: use of incomprehensible language

Example of doublespeak, gobbledygook type

  • Use of words like first, second, third party or such intentionally challenging language in place of just using ‘I’ ‘you’ or ‘they’.
  • Restaurants using too many intense words to describe a simple dish like soup

Also read: Is It Love…Or Manipulation? Let’s Take A Look At Narcissistic Love Bombing

What Is Doublespeak In Psychology (Euphemism For Lying)?


People who are comfortable using ‘doublespeak’ in their routine life are no less than pure manipulators. Such manipulators use euphemisms for lying. Euphemism basically is the tendency of bending or tweaking the truth in order to make it seem more appealing and less appalling.

People with a doublespeak personality are very cunning and smart in choosing their words while passing information to other people. To meet their wants or needs and they can easily manipulate you using doublespeak. For example, has a coworker ever asked for a two-minute help and you ended up working for them for two hours?

Being a victim of doublespeak can take a toll on your mental health. Such people take advantage of you without you getting to know about them. Using Euphemisms for lying is like their secret motto. People who use doublespeak pay very close attention to their language.

They try hard to misconstrue the truth very smoothly so that they get their way. Unfortunately, this talent of theirs is ruining someone else’s mental health.

Here’s a list of negative consequences of doublespeak on other people;

These consequences of doublespeak have added negative effects which lead to various mental illnesses. The best way to combat doublespeak is to pay attention to their language and be prepared for things less/more than what they are actually saying.

Trust me, you already know how to overcome doublespeak, you’ve been doing it for each word a politician utters or an advertisement claims. Always put a doublespeak statement to the test and only then believe it.

That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog interesting and informative. Can I now safely assume that you are aware of what doublespeak is?

Doublespeak is all around us, all we have to do is identify doublespeak and challenge to claim so that we can protect ourselves from the manipulators who use euphemisms for lying.

Thanks For Reading!

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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