4

Examples:

  • Any time that you're ____ing, you should probably reconsider your actions.
  • To the astute, the ____ing was disgusting behavior - to the average person, it just sounded sensible.
  • I couldn't reveal the whole story, so I just ____ed, hoping that nobody would listen, those who listened would forget, and those who didn't forget would seem whiny and stuck in the past.

Prophylactic double-speak[ing] doesn't get to the heart of the hypocrisy.

Advocating for the Devil seems too well-intentioned.

False im-moralizing just confusing.

Temporary/transient normalization is too buzz-wordy.

  • hypocrisy The practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case. Simply claim to have no standards and espouse base beliefs so that you error in the other direction. Carefully crafted language = "smoother hypocrisies of diplomacy". – MikeJRamsey56 Jul 18 '17 at 21:47
  • "blowing smoke" could work. The links from the freedictionary are hard to properly credit in an answer, but the definitions cited there (from other dictionaries) paint the idiom pretty well. idioms.thefreedictionary.com/blow+smoke to state something in a way that conceals the truth. (see also smoke and mirrors.) She is a master at blowing smoke. She belongs in government. – Tom22 Jul 18 '17 at 23:51
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You could use equivocate. From Merriam-Webster:

1 : to use equivocal language especially with intent to deceive
2 : to avoid committing oneself in what one says

And equivocal:

1 a : subject to two or more interpretations and usually used to mislead or confuse

This sounds very close to what you describe, with the equivocal language presumably being chosen carefully so one can't be pinned down, which would presumably protect against accusations of hypocrisy (among other possible accusations). However, it's not very common and is a fairly formal term. If you want a more casual synonym, hedge works well; again from M-W:

noun 3 : a calculatedly noncommittal or evasive statement

verb 2 : to evade the risk of commitment especially by leaving open a way of retreat

Again, this is very similar to your proposed definition. Note that both equivocate and hedge can sometimes be used neutrally or almost positively (sometimes this is the wisest course of action; I think hedge is slightly more neutral than equivocate, which is sometimes listed as a direct synonym of lie).

If you want a really pejorative term, which is also fairly colorful and quite informal, you could try (use) weasel words:

Definition of weasel word
: a word used in order to evade or retreat from a direct or forthright statement or position

So, in increasing order of formality:

  • Any time that you're using weasel words, you should probably reconsider your actions.
  • To the astute, the hedging was disgusting behavior - to the average person, it just sounded sensible.
  • I couldn't reveal the whole story, so I just equivocated, hoping that nobody would listen, those who listened would forget, and those who didn't forget would seem whiny and stuck in the past.
  • Equivocating connotes weakness in my mind... I was hoping to implicitly evoke disdain, not pity. In hindsight, my motives may be childish... I like weaseling quite a bit. – user121330 Jul 18 '17 at 22:40
  • Also, circumlocute or circumlocuting (from circumlocution) might be something you want to look up. – Kace36 Jul 18 '17 at 23:40
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To be economical with the truth - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economical_with_the_truth

Any time that you're being economical with the truth, you should probably reconsider your actions.

To the astute, being economical with the truth was disgusting behavior - to the average person, it just sounded sensible.

I couldn't reveal the whole story, so I was just economical with the truth, hoping that nobody would listen, those who listened would forget, and those who didn't forget would seem whiny and stuck in the past.

  • Very euphamistic. – user121330 Jul 18 '17 at 22:37

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