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Euphemisms Euphemisms are typically used to talk about awkward or uncomfortable subjects. When might an awkward or uncomfortable subject need to be discussed.

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Presentation on theme: "Euphemisms Euphemisms are typically used to talk about awkward or uncomfortable subjects. When might an awkward or uncomfortable subject need to be discussed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Euphemisms Euphemisms are typically used to talk about awkward or uncomfortable subjects. When might an awkward or uncomfortable subject need to be discussed by a dental professional? The idea of DEATH and DYING, for example has many euphemisms: Pass away, pass on, expire, deceased, perish, meet one's death, meet one's end, be taken, yield one's breath, resign one's breath, resign one's being, resign one's life, end one's days, end one's life, breathe one's last, cease to live, cease to breathe, depart this life, be no more, lose one's life, lay down one's life, relinquish one's life, surrender one's life, pay the debt to nature, make one's will, step out, die a natural death, come to an untimely end, catch one's death, kick the bucket, buy the farm, turn up one's toes, six feet under, pushing up daisies, worm food… Which of these euphemisms are more formal? Less formal? Which would be appropriate for a respectful obituary? Which might be used in a distasteful joke? Such subjects are often described in great detail in legal documents and court cases. Introduction to the concept 5/3/2015

2 Euphemisms A euphemism is a word or expression that is used when people want to find a polite or less direct way of talking about difficult or embarrassing topics. We had our sick dog killed  We had Fido put down/put to sleep. Fat person  stocky/heavy person  overweight person* Ugly person  plain person He is lazy  He is not working to his full potential or He has a relaxed attitude about his work She is disruptive  She has difficulty concentrating He is loud and arrogant  He has strong opinions about everything and is not afraid to voice them Poor person  needy, under-privileged, disadvantaged or economically deprived. Crippled  handicapped  disabled* Housewife  domestic engineer Old person  senior; elderly Secretary  Administrative assistant * Note that sometimes euphemisms are replaced by further euphemized words/phrases General information and examples Adapted from: 5/3/2015

3 Dental Euphemisms Dental Nomenclature amalgam anesthesia bur dental caries dental explorer topical fluoride matrix band prophylaxis paste radiograph rubber dam stainless steel crown X-ray machine Euphemisms silver filling sleepy water germ chaser tooth spots tooth counter tooth vitamins Queen's crown toothpaste tooth picture raincoat shiny cap camera Field-specific activities 5/3/2015 Think of language that might be used in place of the following sensitive words? Blood Pus Pain Shot Rotten Can you think of other examples? Use some of these euphemisms to role play professional scenarios.

4 Legal Euphemisms Protective custody Internment facility Pacify Person of interest Collateral damage Substance abuser Law enforcement officer Can you think of other examples? Field-specific activities 5/3/2015 Think of language that might be used in place of the following sensitive words? Blood Semen Gun Kill Naked Use some of these euphemisms to role play professional scenarios.

5 1a) City Diner is a small restaurant at the edge of town. Vs. 1b) City Diner is a greasy spoon on the other side of the tracks. 1c) City Diner is a delightful eatery on a cozy tree-lined street. 2a) “From the looks of your mouth, you have not been brushing as I have instructed you. Why aren’t you taking care of your teeth?” Vs. 2b) “Your teeth don’t look as clean as they could be. Are you having any difficulty using the cleaning techniques we talked about last time? Denotation & Connotation Look at the sentences below. Discuss the meanings of these utterances. Introduction to the concept Is the message the same in 1a, 1b and 1c? 2a and 2b? What differs between the sets? 5/3/2015

6 Denotation & Connotation Denotation: The dictionary meaning (literal meaning) of a word Connotation: The emotional or cultural meaning attached to a word Denotation: A young human being; offspring Connotation: Child: young person Kid: young person (informal) Youngster: younger than others in a group Juvenile: not yet reaching maturity Rug rat: troublesome youth Consider the words: child, kid, youngster, juvenile & rug rat How can we learn the denotation of a word? How can we learn the connotation of a word? General information and examples Decide whether each word has a positive, neutral or negative connotation. 5/3/2015

7 Denotation & Connotation Blood Puss Syringe Needle Disease Infection Fluid Drill Spit Saliva X-ray Photo Decide whether each of these words has a positive, neutral or negative connotation to the average listener. Which would be easier for a patient to hear? “Do you ever spit out blood?” OR “What color is your saliva?” Field-specific structured activities 5/3/2015

8 Denotation & Connotation What impact might come from paying attention to denotation and connotation in your speaking? What impact might come from NOT paying attention to denotation and connotation in your speaking? What might you gain from paying attention to denotation and connotation when listening to others? How might you strengthen your understanding of word connotation? Field-specific open- ended activities 5/3/2015

9 Direct vs. Indirect Language Many American English speakers are quite wary of being rude so they often default to indirect language to avoid this. Examples: Indirect: I was hoping that you could finish that project today. It’s really important. Direct: The project is already late. Why aren’t you finished yet? What differences do you note between the indirect and the direct examples? When would you use direct language? When would you use indirect language? Introduction to the concept 5/3/2015

10 When might indirect language be more appropriate than direct language? * Criticizing the behavior of others * Complaining * Making suggestions * Self-praise * Requesting help or favors Direct vs. Indirect Language General information and examples Lend me the book. Vs. Can I borrow the book? 5/3/2015

11 Direct vs. Indirect Language Direct 1. Where is the explorer? 2. Open your mouth. 3. This will hurt. 4. Sit down You’re late for your appointment. 7. Indirect 1. Have you seen the explorer? 2. Could you open up a bit more? 3. You might feel a bit of a pinch You might want to consider flossing more frequently Could you please pass the cheek retractor? If you needed the signature of your professor, how would you ask? If you wanted your roommate to pass you the newspaper, how would you ask? In what kinds of circumstances would each of the above sentences likely be used? Field-specific activities What structural and vocabulary differences do you notice between direct and indirect language? 5/3/2015

12 Culmination Scenario Role play the following challenging situation incorporating politeness strategies. Legal Example Describe to your colleague a case that you are reading involving a 400-pound man who fell out of his hospital bed and didn’t receive any help for 3 hours. When the staff found him, he was covered in blood and urine. He was so angry when a nurse finally came, that he hit her and broke her nose. The hospital called the police and he’s suing the hospital and the nursing staff. Field-specific open- ended activities 5/3/2015

13 Communication Evaluation Field-specific open- ended activities Watch the video clip and consider the following: Are the professionals communicating in a way that will build relationships? What do you see as positive components of their communication styles? What suggestions might you offer to improve politeness or appropriateness? 5/3/2015 Watch a short segment and revise for increased politeness. Role play one of the segments or continue the conversation in a polite tone.


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