Words that appear at first glance to mean one thing but actually hide (or even reverse) their true meaning are known as doublespeak. When a company "downsizes," that actually means a lot of people are losing their jobs.
Instead of a blunt, straightforward word or phrase, doublespeak uses euphemisms and ambiguity to disguise or soften a message. Military leaders might refer to "servicing the target" when they mean dropping bombs, and a used car salesman most likely prefers describing older vehicles as "pre-owned." The word doublespeak comes from the George Orwell novel 1984 and is a cross between Orwell's terms doublethink and Newspeak.
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