Thu 15 Jan, 2004 02:21 am
I'm flipping the dials furiously, trying to find something to watch on tv at five o'clock in the morning. I encounter an infomercial for "slimming pants." A "body shaper"? What they hell are they talking about? Once they showed one of these garments, I knew. It's a freaking girdle. Never once did that word come up.
George Carlin has a routine on euphemisms and how they've watered down the language and blurred communication. Right on, Georgie. Do I remember any specifics? Only one. Shell shock has become posttraumatic stress disorder. Shell shock is pithy, direct, and conjures up an accurate picture of the problem. What does posttraumatic stress disorder tell us? Not much.
Are there euphemisms you've come to despise? Please share.
"entitlements"- Don't start me on that one!
"politically correct"- Ditto
What about people with unclarified issues?
Dead? Don't be silly. We'll just be senior overachievers. Or maybe life-challenged or impaired.
Hmm - people become post-traumatically stress disordered by lots of things other than shells (war) - so, continuing to call it shell shock would make the descriptor senseless for most people who have the damn thing. Therefore I don't agree with you on that one, Boida.
I was a right bastard as an adolescent when it came to euphemisms.
After my mother died, if people who were not aware would ask me how she was, I would say: "She is dead", or "She has died".
Almost everyone would correct me: "Oh, she has passed away?" Li'l beast me would say - "No, she has died". Adolescents suck. I would be less persnickety and more compassionate to people who could not bear the baldness, now.
At the same age, I once called the vet's to arrange for our elderly cat to be euthanased.
I asked for an appointment.
To have the cat killed.
Oh, we want pussy put to sleep?
No, we want pussy killed.
Yes dear - we want to put pussy to sleep.
No, the point of the exercise is to make sure pussy never wakes up.
I have no idea how I wasn't put down myself, before ever making it to fifteen!
"Senior" and "senior citizen"- Wonder what they call us when we "graduate" from that category? DEAD!!!
We'll just be another Golden Ager who has exhausted our Golden Years and is sleeping peacefully. Who the &#&**# thought up Golden Agers anyway? Oh, there is one for "silver", too but I can't remember the second word, and I don't want to.
Collateral Damage infuriates me.
Shell shock, of course was a euphemism for hysteria. It just didn't sound right that the troops were getting hysterical.
One now understands how the Cunning Coney came by her charm . . .
Ah Deb, Furry critters of a feather... When I was a teenager and someone mentioned that I lost my grandfather, I said, "No, we know exactly where he is." Not a big hit with the relatives.
My mother is the queen of euphemisms. When we talk on the phone, I have to translate for myself to try to discern what she's really asking or telling. Every now and then, when she's so "discreet" that I'm not quite sure what she's talking about, I insist on clarity. Then the fun begins!
Useful concept--poorly spelled, I'm afraid:
While "euphemism" is the art of softening reality, "dysphemism" (however it is spelled--I'm not close enough to the real spelling to find the word) is saying something in the most graphic and startling way possible.
Grandma hasn't gone to a better world--the old bitch kicked the bucket.
Australians find the American useage of "bathroom" horribly coy. Generally, here, the bathroom is where the bath and shower are. Sometimes it has a loo, often not. We tend to ask for the toilet. I ask for the loo or the toilet. I have a male friend who asks for the sand-box!
dlowan- The differences are very interesting. In the US a bathroom can have a toilet, one or two sinks, a bathtub, and/or a shower. Sometimes there is a bathtub/shower combination.
In what is called a half bath, there is a sink and a toilet.
I have a friend, American, who refuses to use the "bathroom" euphemism. Demands it be referred to as "toilet." I've taken him to task for this, because in the US the toilet is the porcelain applicance we all know so well. But not a room.
Yet he persists...I guess my point is that a word isn't a euphemism if everyone (in a society) uses the word the same way...
Is Toilet a euphemism for ,,,,,, Small Job & Big Job.
as in To Toil
I hate it when speedhumps, roundabouts, traffic islands and roundabouts are installed on roads and described as "traffic calming devices".