The Flip

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet is complaining because Romeo’s name is meaningless. If the rose had any other name it would still be the same rose. So with Romeo; he would still be the same beautiful young man even if he had a different name.

Not so fast. In 1957, in his novel, 1984, George Orwell coined the phrase Doublespeak. Doublespeak is a use of language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the conventional meaning of words. The ministry of propaganda, for example, is called the ministry of truth. It is important to note that the term public relations was originally propaganda. The world of advertising, which now includes public relations, most political discourse, and what looks like news, is propaganda.