Diplomatic language

From Jim Yardley’s “India and Pakistan Fail to Resolve Glacier Dispute at Talks” (NYT, June 1):

“Both sides welcomed the ongoing dialogue process,” declared a statement issued jointly by the delegations. “The discussions were held in a frank and cordial atmosphere, contributing to an enhanced understanding of each other’s position.”

This is the formula for reporting failures of diplomacy. Discussions are fair and frank, the meetings are cordial, people come to understand each other’s positions better, and so on — no matter what actually went on. The distanced, jargonish “ongoing dialogue process” here is especially fine.


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