What is double speak? Double speak is a term for when fancy words are used in place of regular words; it makes the bad seem good. For example, instead of calling someone a bum or a hobo, we could call him/her a non-goal oriented member of society. One of the main reasons that double speak is used is because the speaker wants to avoid speaking directly and causing offense. An idiom that expresses this sentiment is “beating around the bush”.
Here are some common expressions that are along the same lines as double speak and can cause communication breakdowns.
“I’ll bear it in mind” means “I won’t doing anything about it”.
Hey Sam, try to mention what a good job Jessie is doing on the Minto Project for me next time you see him.
Sure Steve, I’ll bear that in mind when I visit the branch office.
“That’s an original idea” means “that idea is terrible”
Hey Sam, I was thinking that the stairway functions as a physical barrier between the first and second floor office but if we moved the tech support team to the second floor, we’d have better communication. What do you think?
That’s an original idea.
“Correct me if I’m wrong” means “don’t contradict me”
Excuse me Sam but I was wondering if I could take my vacation this month because my family will be visiting.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought I made it clear at the staff meeting that we need all hands on deck until the busy season dies down.
Yes, you did say that but I was just hoping I could get a few days off.
I’ll bear it in mind when I look at the progress reports.
“It’s pretty good” means “it’s not good enough”
Hey Sam, did you get a chance to review my documents? I hope that they can put us further ahead so that I can get a few days off to spend with my family.
Yes Mike, they were pretty good. I will send them back to you with my comments for the revisions.