Monday, November 04, 2013

Word Watch: Substandard

The latest White House weasel word in defense of Obama "misspeaking" about folks keeping their insurance plans is "substandard".  As in, "You shouldn't want to keep your substandard plan anyway."

This is a rather slick tautology.  The plans are "sub-standard" in that they are below the legal standard -- the Obamacare standard.  So when people complain that they were kicked off their plan because it didn't meet the Obamacare criteria, it is a semantically null defense to say that the plan was "substandard".

Of course it is substandard.  Obamacare defined the standard, and that is the very thing about which people are complaining.

"Substandard" is particularly weaselly because in addition to having the precise meaning of being below the standard, it has a looser connotation of being of poor quality.  Not all substandard plans are of poor quality, but they'd like you to think so while repeating a technically accurate word.

And regarding idea that the POTUS "misspoke" (several dozen times), I think it's time the GOP bring back a word that was used effectively against Bush: "misled".

No comments: