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Euphemisms are expressions which are often used to avoid those words that are considered taboo.
Euphemism in ordinary speech may be amusing, stilted, or polite, but in therapy, it thwarts progress.
My main goal in this article is to show how Arabic reflected societal taboos in the medieval Islamic world, and the ways by which Arabic speakers applied censorship that led to the creation of euphemisms.
Will the "Liverpool Care Pathway", or more correctly the "Lack of Care Pathway", become commonplace when in fact it is euthanasia which in itself is yet another euphemism for killing?
The relevance of compounding and metonymic and/or metaphoric processes acting simultaneously in the creation of euphemisms will be highlighted.
The word sounds as benign as what a second-grade teacher does to a student's homework, said Ralph Keyes, author of "Euphemania: Our Love Affair With Euphemisms.
Indeed, as feminist author Germaine Greer notes, "It is the fate of euphemisms to lose their function rapidly by association with the actuality of what they designate, so that they must be regularly replaced with euphemisms for themselves" (1971, 298).
To some, euphemisms like these are a pointless exercise.
Complaining is less uncomfortable, less rude, if we use euphemisms.
And while we are on the subject of euphemisms, I was talking with a friend who worked as head of the personnel office of a large corporation (that's human relations for those of you born after 1980).
A MAN ABOUT A DOG: EUPHEMISMS & OTHER EXAMPLES OF VERBAL SQUEAMISHNESS offers up over two thousand examples of euphemisms which rely on word plays and the art of mincing words.
But as this month's photoessay makes clear (page 30), slavery hasn't gone away, it's just cloaked itself in a clever collection of euphemisms, from 'bonded labouring' to 'domestic servitude'.