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  • English/Liberal Phrasebook

    Posted by Mitch Townsend on July 16th, 2004 (All posts by )

    Sometimes it seems like we’re not all speaking the same language. It sounds the same, but doesn’t always mean the same. The ancient sages struggled with this, too:

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean–neither more nor less.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you CAN make words mean so many different things.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master–that’s all.’

    With that in mind, I offer a few handy words and phrases in Liberal, with their approximate meanings in plain English.

    UPDATE: Don’t skip the comments — they’re full of things I wish I had though of. Also in the same category, check out the Fashionable Dictionary.

    Liberal: arguably
    Translation: not
    Example: The Canadian health care system is arguably the best model for the US.

    Liberal: extremist
    Translation: Any person or thing that is not liberal; antonym of “progressive”
    Example: We must stop the Bush administration from installing extremist judges.

    Liberal: fiery
    Translation: homicidal, psychotic
    Example: Muqtadar al Sadr is the fiery Shiite cleric whose militia fought the occupation.

    Liberal: larger truths
    Translation: lies
    Example: Rigoberta Menchu’s book contains many larger truths.

    Liberal: militant
    Translation: murderer
    Example: A Palestinian militant today attacked an Israeli settlement, killing three settlers.

    Liberal: nuance
    Translation: incoherence, self-contradiction, delusion
    Example: The EU considers America’s approach to the Middle East to be without nuance.

    Liberal: populist
    Translation: synonym of “progressive”
    Example: Edwards’ populist theme of “two Americas” appeals to the core Democratic voters.

    Liberal: progressive
    Translation: Marxist
    Example: The New York Times endorsed the candidate, calling him “a fresh progressive voice.”

    Liberal: revenues
    Translation: taxes
    Example: We will reclaim the revenues we lost to Bush’s reckless economic program.

    Liberal: rich (n.)
    Translation: wage-earners (collective noun); you
    Example: George Bush enacted tax cuts for the rich.

    Liberal: settler
    Translation: civilian; especially a woman or a child
    Example: A Palestinian militant today attacked an Israeli settlement, killing three settlers.


    7 Responses to “English/Liberal Phrasebook”

    1. Michael Blowhard Says:

      That’s hilarious. Well-done, thanks.

    2. In-Cog-Nito Says:

      Good one Mitch.

    3. Greg Turner Says:

      Liberal: interesting
      Translation: idiotic
      Example: This post is really interesting! It makes some very interesting points.

    4. Chris Says:

      Might I suggest the following items as well:

      Liberal: insurgent
      Translation: terrorist with a car and enough gas money to drive to Iraq.
      Example: The insurgents sought to liberate that area of town from the American invaders.

      Liberal: disenfranchised
      Translation: f***ing stupid, lacking in attention to detail
      Example: The disenfranchised voters of Miami-Dade were upset that their votes may not have been counted.

      Liberal: erosion
      Translation: enforcement
      Example: The Bush administration has done its absolute best to see to the erosion of the constitution

      Liberal: cheap labor conservative
      Translation: Business owner who won’t pay you $25.00/hour for a job requiring no education/skill/or hard labor
      Example: The unions are being overpowered by cheap labor conservatives that want to maximize profits

      Liberal: racist
      Translation: fair
      Example: Many conservatives are calling for affirmative action programs to be scaled back at universities, in an effort to get racist college admissions policies put in place
      (NOTE: At last count racist is a liberal synonym for about 800 english words)

      Liberal: media
      Translation: conservative
      Example: CounterSpin is produced by the media watch group Fair.

    5. Ken Says:

      Mounting – Accumulating. This word once meant “rapidly accumulating”, but that restriction seems to have been dropped and the word can now refer to a slow trickle of accumulation, especially when used as a modifier for “casualties”.

      Unilateral – From the Greek “lateral”, meaning “sided” and “uni”, meaning “about thirty or so”.

      Popular Resistance – A situation where gangs of would-be oppressors fight to make the liberators bugger off so that the oppressors may oppress their local population without being bothered by outside agitators.

      Stealing – When the object of this verb is “oil”, this verb becomes a synonym for “buying” or “drilling”.

      Diplomatic Failure – Failure to get foreign leaders to volunarily join in a war against their own business partners.

    6. Jonathan Says:

      Excellent. Let me add:

      Freewheeling – 1) Hasn’t been taxed/regulated out of business yet; 2) The defining characteristic of financial markets we disapprove of or don’t understand (i.e., all of them). Example: “freewheeling futures markets”.

      Skyrocketing – Somebody is making money and we can’t do anything about it. Example: “the oil industry’s skyrocketing profits”. (See also: “freewheeling”.)

      Wild West – We can’t openly criticize people for defending themselves, so instead we’ll imply that they’re atavistic yahoos.

    7. Chris Says:

      Greedy: Richer than me. “Wall Street is just soooooooo greedy!”

      Atomistic: Free. “We can’t have an atomistic society where parents are in charge of raising their own kids.”

      Closed-minded: Disagrees with me. “People who watch Fox News or read the Drudge Report are closed-minded.”

      Racist war: A war where white people shoot at white people. See also Afghanistan, Israel, Iraq. Does not apply to Sudan or Zimbabwe, where actual racial conflict is involved.

      Oppression: Freedom. “Let’s fight capitalist oppression. Too many people are making a good living out there.”

      Illegal occupation: The wrong person has won. See also Israel. Does not apply to Bosnia or Tibet since communists in these places won.

      Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Mc Donald’s: Tacky. Regular people actually like these things so there must be something wrong with them.

      Civil liberties: The right to perform public sex acts, but not to smoke or sell cigarettes in private.