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The Civility Dictionary

We all need a few lessons and reminders in toning down the harsh day-to-day language we often encounter.  Here are a few examples of ways to take mean-spirited words and phrases and make them be more nice and civil:

Mean-Spirited Language Nice, Civil Language

"bribery", "perverse incentives", or "conflict of interest"

"unique financial opportunities"


"perhaps not entirely accurate"

"burdensome taxes"

"fees", "unique opportunities for service", "government expenditures,"  "contributions," or "investments"


"people who no doubt have the best of intentions"


"someone who appreciates power"

"state abuse"

"discretion under what must be difficult circumstances"


"mostly honest"

"unelected bureaucrat"

"public servant"

"career politician"

"long-time public servant"

"pork barrel project"

"discretionary spending"

"unfit for office"

"needs slight improvement"


"a little rough around the edges"

"empty promises"

"hopeful statements that will assuredly remain on the radar screen"

"environmentalist whacko"

"someone who no doubt cares a great deal about the environment"

"water Nazi"

"someone who is zealous in upholding the water restrictions"

"corporate welfare"

"corporate incentives"

"bloated bureaucracy"

"solid infrastructure"

"rights" or "freedoms"



Now go out and make lots of friends!



If you hear of other stinging words or phrases, or if you have comments or suggestions, please email us at info@accountabilityutah.org.


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