Amuk in AfPak

So apparently there was an entirely inconsequential election in Afghanistan yesterday. Helena Cobban’s got a roundup of the story, and Registan has been great all week.

My only contribution to the coverage is a plea for abbreviational evenhandedness. As long as people are too lazy to say or write “Afghanistan and Pakistan,” lumping them together under the vaguely intergalactic-sounding acronym “Afpak”,  I propose that we do the same to refer to the two principal nations behind the war effort.

“Amuk” has a nice ring to it, wouldn’t you say?

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7 thoughts on “Amuk in AfPak

  1. Well said. Enough of this Orwellian nonsense. Down with NewSpeak.

    Posted by Sasa | August 21, 2009, 7:48 pm
  2. So you do not think that we should use BRIC , OECD, G8 …:-)

    I am not certain that such usages as AfPak or BRIC qualify as Orwellian Newspeak.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | August 22, 2009, 7:36 am
  3. No, acronyms (collections of initials) like the OECD, EU, even US are not NewSpeak. Newspeak is the contraction of words to create a new shorter word devoid of meaning. Like AfPak. Although it should be written Afpak to be truly Newspeak. Have a look at this:

    Ah, now I want to read Nineteen Eighty Four all over again!

    Posted by Sasa | August 22, 2009, 7:41 am
  4. Nicely said E 🙂

    Posted by Sprinx | August 23, 2009, 5:45 pm
  5. Sasa,
    I believe that I have read almost everything that has ever been published by Orwell. I even share the ideas expressed by Christopher Hitchens in his “Why Orwell Matters”. Yrt I do not believe that AfPak can be considered newspeak. Yes it is a contraction but so is coop among many other contractions. Please don’t tell me that infotainment is newspeak 🙂

    Posted by ghassan karam | August 23, 2009, 6:41 pm
  6. Define Newspeak.

    Posted by Sasa | August 23, 2009, 6:44 pm
  7. Sasa,
    It was not my intenyion to get into a lengthy discourse about Newspeak but merely to object to at best a “loose” descrition of it. Anyway Newspeak is in essence the conscious effort to limit and/or change the meaning of a word. Usually the new term is designed to further the intersts of the party. The best example that comes to mind is the word free: It can be used as such: the road is free of potholes but one cannot speak of political and intellectual freedoms. A contraction that is used in an effort to save time ; BRIC or AfPak ; does not have an overriding purpose to promote the party and so it does not qualify as newspeak, in my opinion. You can have the last word on this , if you wish.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | August 23, 2009, 8:15 pm

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