06 February 2012

Nervous Idioms: Brainwash

The Manchurian Candidate (1962), the most famous cinematographic example of 'brainwashing.'
Brainwash (someone): to force (a person) to obey, conform, confess etc by putting enormous psychological pressure on them. To control a person's thinking through psychological or physical torture, disorientation, or coercion. As a verb, the Oxford English Dictionary first finds this familiar usage appearing in Publisher's Weekly  in 1951 as in "the communists are 'brain washing' the minds of the educated Chinese". As a noun, however, the phrase appears to mean an instance of brainwashing - literally. As, for instance, a usage in the Manchester Guardian in 1950: "A school teacher who was summoned to a 'brain-wash' before a large audience partly consisting of his pupils."

3 comments:

  1. Brainwashing - whether wide-scale or simple hypnotherapy in sydney - can be a lot more subtle than that. The real scary part is that, if done correctly, you will never see it coming.

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  2. I think a lot of people get confused between brainwashing and hypnotherapy. I went to Hypnotherapy Sydney to give up smoking but my wife was so worried I would be brained washed she almost talked me out of it. But after going and successfully stopped smoking I can tell you first hand hypnotherapy is not brain washing

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