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Author Topic: Making murder respectable  (Read 6080 times)
dapengmingwang
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« on: December 20, 2011, 07:31:33 AM »

Making murder respectable

Phoney politeness and muddled messages: a guide to euphemisms
Dec 17th 2011 | from the print edition

SHORT sharp terms make big points clear. But people often prefer to soften their speech with euphemism: a mixture of abstraction, metaphor, slang and understatement that offers protection against the offensive, harsh or blunt. In 1945, in one of history's greatest euphemisms, Emperor Hirohito informed his subjects of their country's unconditional surrender (after two atomic bombs, the loss of 3m people and with invasion looming) with the words, "The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage."

Euphemisms range promiscuously, from diplomacy ("the minister is indisposed", meaning he won't be coming) to the bedroom (a grande horizontale in France is a notable courtesan). But it is possible to attempt a euphemistic taxonomy. One way to categorise them is ethical. In "Politics and the English Language", George Orwell wrote that obfuscatory political language is designed "to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable". Some euphemisms do distort and mislead; but some are motivated by kindness.

Another way to typify them is by theme. A third
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dapengmingwang
Primus
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Singapore Singapore

Posts: 1,278


我終於知道曲終人散的寂寞 只有傷心人才有


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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2014, 11:27:41 AM »

There are already too many murder games. Maybe try a large scale war game?

I doubt the human race will survive another large scale "war game". Tongue
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