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The Power of Language Euphemisms ( and other –mismses ) Dysphemisms&
brought to you by Sean Hanley
BASICALLY a euphemism makes something sound better and a dysphemism makes something sound worse ( “stingy” ) ( “thrifty” ) YOO-fuh-mizum DIS-fuh-mizum
For example: “sanitary landfill” & “garbage dump” “pre-owned vehicle” & “used car” Ridiculous Meter:
The Euphemism Treadmill what once was “nice” becomes “rude” (euphemisms become dysphemisms) lame crippled handicappeddisabled lame crippled handicapped disabled BUT!
The Dysphemism Treadmill what once was “rude” becomes “okay” (dysphemisms become euphemisms) “that sucks” offensive objectionable questionable accepted pre-1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s Ridiculous Meter:
dysphemisms are actually quite common in everyday speech Common Dysphemisms no sports team actually “slaughters the other team” no company actually “crushes their competition”
Wentbetter Euphemisms vs. Dysphemisms Balance Dysphemisms Euphemisms Dearlydeparted Gonerest dust Worm Croaked ( perhaps they are too common… ) Passedaway tohis placetoa food Bitthe underSixfoot Takingnapadirt Boughtfarmthe Kickedbucketthe Pushingdaisiesup
The Military and Eu (-phemisms) DECRYPTING neutralizing a targetKilling an enemy collateral damage friendly fire accidental killing shooting a teammate DECRYPTED Ridiculous Meter:
euphemisms & dysphemisms are all around us on signs on TV in everyday speech in books on things at the store
but their true power is that we often don’t notice them euphemism ? dysphemism ? ? euphemism ? ? ? dysphemism ?
you must always ask yourself what are they really saying? what does that really mean? why are they really hiding it? truth find
fin © 2006 Sean Hanley
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