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The Web of Language
Dennis Baron's go-to site for language and technology in the news

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  • Noah Webster’s Word of the Year for 1828 was torture, too

    Noah Webster defines torture, 1828

Comments Dec 19, 2014 3:13 pm

Now you have me wondering: do you think perhaps Frank Herbert got the name for the Fremen in _Dune_ from the Danes?

And what would we do without the French?!

I so enjoy "The Web of Language": thank you!

Reply to at 3:13 pm Dec 20, 2014 5:23 pm

The Bush administration's "enhanced interrogation," both methods and phrase, has a long history, as commentators have noted (e.g., <>). It seems to be a direct translation of the Nazi term "verscharfte Vernehmnung." Vernehmnung means interrogation and verscharfte means sharpened, intensified, or, well, enhanced. Many of the Nazi methods of verscharfte Vernehmung were identical to those used by the CIA.

Rich Haswell



Reply to at 5:23 pm