Peak euphemism? #Ozfail

We’ve been used to imagining the global supply of euphemisms as limitless, but if Dennis Shanahan keeps at it, the world will be running short by the time the Abbott government leaves office. In a single column (Google it) he manages to refer to “accusations of broken promises”, “the shift on the Gonski education promise”, “the repudiation of Labor’s Gonski education promises”, “The management of the Gonski “unity ticket” on education funding”, ” accusations of broken promises” (again), “The readjustment of expectations on Gonski” “the painful Gonski process” and “a cusp of credibility”. Given his leader’s penchant for three word slogans, perhaps a three-letter word starting with “L” might be what Shanahan is reaching for here.

79 thoughts on “Peak euphemism? #Ozfail

  1. bafflegab?

    oh my.

    since i couldn’t find agnotology in my Oxford (drat,i really liked that word),

    bafflegab will do nicely.

    ta.

  2. In case someone missed this:

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/gonskis-gone-school-funding-review-struck-from-record-20131202-2yljm.html

    “Gonski has been expunged from the official record.

    Search for the name of the report on the Commonwealth Education Department website and you’ll get a reply asking whether you meant “lenskyi”.

    Search for it by its official title – Review of Funding for Schooling – and you’ll be told your search “returned no results”.

    But they are not there any more. Visits to http://www.schoolfunding.gov.au are redirected to the departmental website of minister Christopher Pyne, where there’s no mention of the word “Gonski” at all, let alone a copy of the report or its 7000 submissions.

    A departmental spokesman has confirmed that the report is missing. He told Fairfax Media all material on the website was removed when the machinery of government changes came into effect. The department was “in the process of updating its website after the machinery of government changes”.”

  3. Last post stuck in moderation because of two links, feel free to delete my last post Professor Quiggin.

    In case someone missed this:

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/gonskis-gone-school-funding-review-struck-from-record-20131202-2yljm.html

    “Gonski has been expunged from the official record.

    Search for the name of the report on the Commonwealth Education Department website and you’ll get a reply asking whether you meant “lenskyi”.

    Search for it by its official title – Review of Funding for Schooling – and you’ll be told your search “returned no results”.

    A departmental spokesman has confirmed that the report is missing. He told Fairfax Media all material on the website was removed when the machinery of government changes came into effect. The department was “in the process of updating its website after the machinery of government changes”.”

  4. since i couldn’t find agnotology in my Oxford (drat,i really liked that word),

    bafflegab will do nicely.

    Agnotology means something different. It’s a kind of “anti-knowledge” — a form of incipient epistemic nihilism which in practice adopts the usages we’ve seen amongst HIV, smoking, holocaust and anthropogenic climate change denialists — characterised by the systematic circulation of disinformation aimed at subversion of knowledge.

    I brought the term to this place, though I’m not its author — I saw it in Oreskes’s work. These days, I think agnosophism might be better, as one could probably use “agnotology” to describe someone — like Oreskes — who examines the phenomenon of movements arising around the desire to debauch evidence-based public discourse.

    But bafflegab is a nice term for the kind of dissembling seen in the pronouncements of this regime.

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