Exercise Two: What are they trying to say?

What is really being said in the following real-world writing samples?

  1. A doctor records on a patient’s chart: "Patient failed to fulfill his wellness potential.”
  2. U.S. Army talks about "vertically deployed anti-personnel devices."
  3. Civilian mechanics at a McClellan Air Force base in California are placed on "non-duty, non-pay status.”
  4. The Massachusetts Department of Public Works speaks of "ground-mounted confirmatory route markers.”
  5. A store in St. Louis advertises "semi-antique" rugs.

From the Quarterly Review of Doublespeak


When you're done, continue to Exercise Two Takeaways