Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Alarm Words

Do recognize when someone dumps one of those irrefutable clauses into a debate or discussion? Are you even aware of them? They've become so standardized and we are so immune to them that we simply nod our heads rhythmically like the little black dog on the rear window deck of a '60s vintage Chevy.

Start listening for them in interviews as we wind down to the election. What they mean is that beyond this point no discussion by a rational human being is possible. You are about to be made aware of immutable truth and only a total fool would dare to question or challenge the assertions laid before you.

"The fact of the matter is..."
"History show us..."
"The majority of Americans know..."
"To protect the children..."
"Fairness demands that..."
"Working class families..."
"All things considered..."
"For those living at or near the poverty level..."
"Rights granted by..."
"Creating or saving jobs..."
"Cuts for 95% of working Americans..."

And, of course, "Shovel-ready projects..."

What's your favorite meaningless discussion ender?


TheOtherLarry said...

Here are some more:

"It is widely recognized..."

"Everyone knows that..."

"Common knowledge states..."

"It is good for you..."

"We know better..."

And I am unanimous in that! heh

TheOtherLarry said...

Oh, and don't forget the number one:

"Politically Correct"

The Donald said...

"We must do 'xxx' for the children" usually translates to: Much bull$h!t to follow - cover your wallet!

I guess the numerous communications and management classes & seminars I've attended has also made me fairly aware of many of these rhetorical refuges of rascals (hey, that was almost Safire-esque!).

Dweezil Dwarftosser said...

"Have you ever tried picking up your teeth with a broken arm?"

Works for me . . . but I guess that's a different sort of debate!

Aaron said...

My favorite is
"it is clear that...."

Inevitably, the statement that follows is indisputably unclear and whenever you see that statement (particularly in legal briefs) its a cover to get across a point that is anything but settled fact or law.

nzgarry said...

At the end of the day.... (The sun goes down)

We have taken concrete steps to ensure... (We've stolen your concrete steps)