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(The New Republic)   Washington's favorite new weasel word: "evolving"   (newrepublic.com) divider line 115
    More: Obvious, weasel words  
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2416 clicks; posted to Politics » on 29 Mar 2013 at 2:44 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-29 11:23:15 AM
Subby thinks the nation's views shouldn't have evolved since the Civil war era.
 
2013-03-29 11:47:32 AM
That was really poorly written.  It reads like a paper by a first year undergrad who is trying to sound smart.
 
2013-03-29 11:50:27 AM
A weaselly word is not a weasel word, subby. Moral of the story is that evolution is a good thing.
 
2013-03-29 12:01:32 PM
Don't they mean "intelligently designing"?
 
2013-03-29 12:09:23 PM
"I am evolving" = "I have no problem with it, but I'm taking baby-steps because many of my constituents are idiots"
 
2013-03-29 01:00:52 PM

Lionel Mandrake: "I am evolving" = "I have no problem with it, but I'm taking baby-steps because many of my constituents are idiots"


"I am evolving" = "Of course I don't like it. I say placating shiat to get me re-elected"
 
2013-03-29 01:09:28 PM
First it was "straw man arguments", then "white knighting" became mainstream, then "Concerned troll" snuck its way into our hearts. Now the new powerword is "Evolve"? I CANT KEEP UP WITH ALL THESE CHANGES! Slow down, folks
 
2013-03-29 01:12:48 PM

cman: First it was "straw man arguments", then "white knighting" became mainstream, then "Concerned troll" snuck its way into our hearts. Now the new powerword is "Evolve"? I CANT KEEP UP WITH ALL THESE CHANGES! Slow down, folks


We're sorry; but the situation is still evolving

/don't be concerned
 
2013-03-29 01:12:49 PM
I figure it's a double insult to the bigoted conservatives.  Walk away from their ideals of oppression, and throw some science in their face while you're at it.
 
2013-03-29 01:39:52 PM
I am evolving = I don't have any principles I'll just say whatever you want to hear.

see also "Romneying"
 
2013-03-29 01:42:03 PM
"Evolved" used in this context doesn't mean what the author thinks it means. It is a process of change that doesn't have to be only applied to a group, it can be applied to individuals as well, contrary to his opinion. It doesn't just involve "changing your mind" about something, it incorporates learning more about and becoming better informed on an issue, "walking a mile in the shoes" of other people to get a better sense of how they think and feel, etc. Most of us who are not reactionary unchanging idiots go through this. I know I have, on many issues. At a very young age, how was I supposed to know that black people weren't hooligans, because my only interaction with them was basically police shows in the 1960s and 70s. When I grew up and got out of my bigoted upbringing, of course I changed my mind, and the process could easily be described as "evolving."
 
2013-03-29 02:07:43 PM

Lionel Mandrake: "I am evolving"


Yes?

/since weasel = evolving.
 
2013-03-29 02:48:14 PM
Fly over land is devolving.
 
2013-03-29 02:50:47 PM
Someone contact Jason Silva and have him explain hedonic-adaptation to subby.

/and everyone else
 
2013-03-29 02:50:52 PM
it kinda is the conceptual grandkid of the passive statement (not "I made a mistake", but "mistakes were made").
 
2013-03-29 02:51:02 PM
I'm not sure what an evolved weasel looks like, but there is some furry out there with an unhealthy interest in it.
 
2013-03-29 02:51:49 PM
As opposed to stubbornly digging in and doubling down when you know you are wrong?
 
2013-03-29 02:52:25 PM

Spad31: Lionel Mandrake: "I am evolving" = "I have no problem with it, but I'm taking baby-steps because many of my constituents are idiots"

"I am evolving" = "Of course I don't like it. I say placating shiat to get me re-elected"


Which is exactly how democracy is supposed to work
 
2013-03-29 02:53:25 PM

Snarfangel: I'm not sure what an evolved weasel looks like, but there is some furry out there with an unhealthy interest in it.


Dawkins' weasel ripped my flesh?
 
2013-03-29 02:55:52 PM

GAT_00: I figure it's a double insult to the bigoted conservatives.  Walk away from their ideals of oppression, and throw some science in their face while you're at it.


This.  It's not-so-subtle trolling of the Young Earth types.
 
2013-03-29 02:59:21 PM

omgrtfa: Fly over land is devolving. evolving into a simpler state.

 
2013-03-29 02:59:29 PM
We all realize that the President was the first high-profile politician to term his views on gay marriage as "evolving"? It's because when you have a long public record of being against something, even vociferously (which Obama wasn't), you can't simply come out one day and go "Yup, I'm cool with Adam and Steve/Rachel and Susan now. That about cover it?" - that's incredibly disingenuous, especially as their older views were often reached the result of "prayer and soul-searching". You can't wave that away.

"Evolving" is an easy way to say "After actually thinking about it, I realize I was a total asshammer. Rather than admit that, I'll just say that even though I'm middle aged - I LITERALLY have a lifetime of experience - I had a lot of growing up to do."

// really, it's embarrassing when 12-year-olds spout better logic than 60-year-old lawyer/politicians
 
2013-03-29 02:59:44 PM
Obama evolves, Romney revolves ring a bell?
 
Bf+
2013-03-29 02:59:51 PM

PreMortem: evolution is a good thing

 
Bf+
2013-03-29 03:01:42 PM

Bf+: PreMortem: evolution is a good thing


Dammit, I'm not fer the comment!  I'm aginit!

i3.kym-cdn.com

/Should learn to preview.
//Also still sorta agrees with original post.
///Slashies
 
2013-03-29 03:03:42 PM
"I am evolving." = "There's money in this somewhere."
 
2013-03-29 03:12:42 PM

Spad31: Lionel Mandrake: "I am evolving" = "I have no problem with it, but I'm taking baby-steps because many of my constituents are idiots"

"I am evolving" = "Of course I don't like it. I say placating shiat to get me re-elected"


Obama meant the opposite.  In his case, "I am evolving" = "Of course I like it.  I just said I didn't to avoid freaking people out so I could get elected."
 
2013-03-29 03:15:09 PM

Lionel Mandrake: "I am evolving" = "I have no problem with it, but I'm taking baby-steps because many of my constituents are idiots"


I was thinking more along the lines of "I'm a bigot, but I'll say anything for a donation."
 
2013-03-29 03:15:12 PM
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
 
2013-03-29 03:16:30 PM

Dr.Zom: "I am evolving." = "There's money in this somewhere."


"I am evolving" = "This will get me into cool parties, right?"
 
2013-03-29 03:21:59 PM
While it is a buzz-word, and buzz-words are in fact annoying, I actually think "I admit that I used to think something else, and my fundamental opinions haven't changed, but I'm advocating a different policy now for the sole purpose of adapting my image to external pressures and popular opinion" is something that needs to be abbreviated.  Can you imagine them having to stick that in every press release?  It's windy as hell.
 
2013-03-29 03:23:32 PM
i could probably smile and nod at 'i am evolving' - it's never phrased that way, tho.

their thoughts are evolving. their view is evolving. it paints that passive image of things happening without the speaker actually being involved in it in any way. the thoughts were doing things, not the speaker, if you can dig the implications.

on the list of politispeak, it's far from the most obnoxious, but...yah. it's still obnoxious.
 
2013-03-29 03:34:13 PM

I think "evolved" is a pretty good word in much of these cases. As the article points out it's usage frames things a certain way


1) evolution is progress towards the good (not true but generally thought to be)

2) evolution is the product of a natural force - it just happens which absolves some people from being wrong in the past.

3) evolution takes time.


The naive view is that with evolution you get extra good stuff from nothing. Sorta like this:

i.chzbgr.com
 
2013-03-29 03:38:58 PM
Everyone is missing the political buzzword they are trying to counteract:

FLIP-FLOP

You see, it is simply bad politics these days to say "I changed my mind and position after reviewing more facts and being exposed to blah blah blah."  You're a flip-flopper.  A turncoat.  A RINO.  And given the sound-bite-based culture we live in, a politician is unable to describe the myriad forces, arguments, and information, political or otherwise, that made them change their mind.  So one cannot simply change one's mind in Washington.Evolving is a comfortable word that implies gradual change, and several steps in that change, rather thanan about-face, and gives the politician time to release carefully constructed and tested statements on how and why their position is evolving, instead of a firestorm of "lay your you're entire argument and debate with the public THIS INSTANT!"

It's kind of sad really, and is a symptom of the poor level of discourse in our national political scene.
 
2013-03-29 03:49:41 PM
Weasel words are what separate us from the animals.
Except the weasel.

doh
 
2013-03-29 03:50:55 PM

cman: First it was "straw man arguments", then "white knighting" became mainstream, then "Concerned troll" snuck its way into our hearts. Now the new powerword is "Evolve"? I CANT KEEP UP WITH ALL THESE EVOLUTIONS! Slow down, folks


/FTFY
 
2013-03-29 03:51:42 PM
Why is it a weasel word?

It means change.
 
2013-03-29 03:55:06 PM

HairBolus: I think "evolved" is a pretty good word in much of these cases. As the article points out it's usage frames things a certain way
1) evolution is progress towards the good (not true but generally thought to be)2) evolution is the product of a natural force - it just happens which absolves some people from being wrong in the past.3) evolution takes time.
The naive view is that with evolution you get extra good stuff from nothing. Sorta like this:[i.chzbgr.com image 450x451]


I wish I had a magic chocolate bar :(
 
2013-03-29 03:57:20 PM

HairBolus: I think "evolved" is a pretty good word in much of these cases. As the article points out it's usage frames things a certain way
1) evolution is progress towards the good (not true but generally thought to be)2) evolution is the product of a natural force - it just happens which absolves some people from being wrong in the past.3) evolution takes time.
The naive view is that with evolution you get extra good stuff from nothing. Sorta like this:[i.chzbgr.com image 450x451]


Wizardry.
 
2013-03-29 04:00:29 PM
Frank Luntz strikes again.
 
2013-03-29 04:00:30 PM

meat0918: It means change.


It means change once you've stuck your finger into the wind a couple dozen times, and a refusal to do good until such time as the will to do good aligns with ambitions.

show me: At a very young age, how was I supposed to know that black people weren't hooligans, because my only interaction with them was basically police shows in the 1960s and 70s.


Wait, Linc from the Mod Squad was a hooligan?
 
2013-03-29 04:02:54 PM

show me: At a very young age, how was I supposed to know that black people weren't hooligans, because my only interaction with them was basically police shows in the 1960s and 70s.


Sticks, the drummer on Happy Days, was a hooligan?
 
2013-03-29 04:03:09 PM

Silly Jesus: [encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com image 206x245]


i1134.photobucket.com

/hot
 
2013-03-29 04:03:28 PM

Gulper Eel: show me: At a very young age, how was I supposed to know that black people weren't hooligans, because my only interaction with them was basically police shows in the 1960s and 70s.

Wait, Linc from the Mod Squad was a hooligan?


No no no, he was one of the good ones.
 
2013-03-29 04:04:15 PM
3.bp.blogspot.com
And the coveted Weassy goes to... a group of Hateful White Men on the right!
 
2013-03-29 04:04:31 PM

Dr Dreidel: We all realize that the President was the first high-profile politician to term his views on gay marriage as "evolving"? It's because when you have a long public record of being against something, even vociferously (which Obama wasn't), you can't simply come out one day and go "Yup, I'm cool with Adam and Steve/Rachel and Susan now. That about cover it?" - that's incredibly disingenuous, especially as their older views were often reached the result of "prayer and soul-searching". You can't wave that away.

"Evolving" is an easy way to say "After actually thinking about it, I realize I was a total asshammer. Rather than admit that, I'll just say that even though I'm middle aged - I LITERALLY have a lifetime of experience - I had a lot of growing up to do."

// really, it's embarrassing when 12-year-olds spout better logic than 60-year-old lawyer/politicians


Pretty much this.
 
2013-03-29 04:10:27 PM
It's more of a trope than a weasel word.
 
2013-03-29 04:10:44 PM

FloydA: That was really poorly written.  It reads like a paper by a first year undergrad who is trying to sound smart.


I agree about the writing, but have you seen first year undergrads?  They can't put sentences together.
 
2013-03-29 04:17:57 PM

show me: "Evolved" used in this context doesn't mean what the author thinks it means. It is a process of change that doesn't have to be only applied to a group, it can be applied to individuals as well, contrary to his opinion. It doesn't just involve "changing your mind" about something, it incorporates learning more about and becoming better informed on an issue, "walking a mile in the shoes" of other people to get a better sense of how they think and feel, etc. Most of us who are not reactionary unchanging idiots go through this. I know I have, on many issues. At a very young age, how was I supposed to know that black people weren't hooligans, because my only interaction with them was basically police shows in the 1960s and 70s. When I grew up and got out of my bigoted upbringing, of course I changed my mind, and the process could easily be described as "evolving."


Species and systems evolve.  Individuals adapt:  "to make fit (as for a new use) often by modification."  "Adapt" carries a connotation of opportunism that pols don't want.
 
2013-03-29 04:18:05 PM

phaseolus: It's more of a trope than a weasel word.


exactly.
An example of someone using weasel words would be "many experts agree that children raised by gay parents struggle more in shool"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word"
 
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