The Nation


Letters to the Editor

A guide to Crimean dipspeak

In view of the recent situation in Ukraine I have devised a new template for interpreting US diplomatic language, also known as diplomatese, more uncharitably called dipspeak:

1. "There will be consequences." Translation: We're going to scold you.

2. "There will be grave consequences." Translation: We're going to scold you real hard.

3. "All options are on the table." Translation: We're not going to do anything.

4. "We are enlisting the aid of our friends, allies and the entire international community to exert pressure on Russia." Translation: We're sending Ban Ki-moon to talk to Putin and hope he doesn't get eaten.


S Tsow


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