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euphemism - the word of the day

noun: Use of a mild, neutral, evasive, or vague term in place of one considered taboo, offensive, blunt, or unpleasant.

collateral damage for civilian casualties
second-hand for used
pre-owned for second-hand
pre-loved for pre-owned
budget for cheap
pass (away or on) for die
sanitation worker for garbage collector
convivial for drunken
mentally challenged for retarded
networking for gossip
checking eyelids for light leaks for taking a nap

In my business, we use a lot of euphemisms to avoid plain speaking. Or we use acronyms. Somehow, talking around the issue or keeping it from offending anybody's sensitivities seems preferable to reality-anchored description. The result often is unrealistic "solutions" to euphemistically described "concerns".

Do people think that re-naming, using euphemisms, will somehow ameliorate the harsh realities? Like putting cosmetics on a corpse to make them look more life-like. Delusionary. I wouldn't let them do that to my mother's body after her death (she was quite clear in her views about such things).

bowdlerization is another, similar mode of expression.

"Two-and-a-half months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the notorious Executive Order 9066. As a result, more than 110,000 Japanese, virtually all the Japanese-Americans on the mainland, were 'evacuated to concentration camps' in remote parts of America's mountain states. The words were his, though they were soon replaced in official parlance by the euphemism, 'reception centres'."
The Consequences of Terror, Japanese Internment in America (book review); The Economist (London); Sep 22, 2001.
thanks to A.Word.A.Day, with modifications

I lived for a year in one of those internment camps which has since been signed over to native american people. Hell-hole would have be too kind a word.

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