Learn English – Word for obscuring bad or immoral acts with verbiage


I have been in many scenarios where people try to obscure/reduce the intensity of a seemingly bad or immoral act using grammar. E.g. Assuming Thomas killed a dog, you could hear something like:

There's essentially nothing wrong about palliating the miserable life
of a despondent being. If there was any issue here, I'd say it's not
consulting a veterinary doctor first but I've come to understand that some people are just straightforward.

How does one react to the above mumbo jumbo? I think there are similar situations also found in law courts. What can this be referred to as? Grammatification, obscure tactics?

Best Answer

Doublespeak seems to fit this example well. From Wikipedia:

Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g., "downsizing" for layoffs, "servicing the target" for bombing), in which case it is primarily meant to make the truth sound more palatable. It may also refer to intentional ambiguity in language or to actual inversions of meaning (for example, naming a state of war "peace"). In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth. Doublespeak is most closely associated with political language.