Haigledygook and Secretaryspeak

Alexander Haig is conducting a terrorist campaign of his own—against the English language. His war of words with the Kremlin has turned into a war on words, presumably much to the consternation of Russian translators. Herewith a lexicon of Haigisms:

Careful caution. A repetitious redundancy but preferable to careless caution. Similar to his "longstanding in time."

Caveat. An Al-verb, a victim of the general's verification program, to which resistance is verboten for even the most insolent little noun. As in: "I'll have to caveat my response, Senator."

Contexted. The past tense of Haig's verbicose veins. As in telling Senator John Glenn that his question...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!