Euphemism

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Train wreck at Montparnasse 1895

The 11.00 from Paris is delayed after an incident at the station.

A Euphemism is a word people use to describe anything fun, because they are a bunch of namby-pambies who never got off their mama's tit.

Euphemisms are used to make something not sound as bad as it is.

Examples

  • passed away: died
  • go to Hell: died (often used with children, as in "You'll go to Hell.")
  • fatality: dead/killed person (often used in Mortal Kombat)
  • fence: died
  • casualties: deaths and injuries
  • collateral damage: bad movie
  • promoting democracy: enforcing hermaphroditic rule

edit Origins

Euphemisms were created by the MPAA and RIAA as a method of marketing bad movies and artists to the general audience without reviewers saying:

 The dialogue is tacky, not unlike a pregnant woman in a bathing suit 
 (unless you're into that sort of thing, in which case you might find 
 the dialogue strangely erotic). For example, any time a character 
 asked the question "what do you want?" It was always answered with 
 "the same thing you want." The pain you suffer during this movie 
 registers somewhere between being jack-hammered in the face and 
 having scissors jammed into your urethra: maddox)

The reverend George Carlin notes that, in the wake of the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, traumatized moviegoers were said to be suffering from "shell shock." The short, vivid phrase conveys the horrors of a cartoon-turned-movie -- one can practically hear the turtles exploding overhead. After the first Mortal Kombat movie, people began to use the term "kombat fatigue" to characterize the same condition. The phrase is a bit more pleasant, but it still acknowledges combat as the source of discomfort. In the wake of the following Mortal Kombat movies, people referred to "post-traumatic stress disorder": a phrase that is completely disconnected from the reality of bad movies altogether.

edit The "euphemism treadmill"

Euphemisms can eventually become naughty themselves through a process the linguist Bob Saget has called riding the white horse. Words originally intended as euphemisms may lose their euphemistic value, acquiring the negative connotations of their referents. In some cases, they may be used mockingly and become dysphemistic.

For example, shit bucket, itself a euphemism, was replaced with toilet room and bathroom, which were replaced with rest room. In American English, the original sense of homely ("comfortable, cozy") has been superseded by the once-euphemistic sense "plain-looking," which is now simply insulting ("fugly").

Connotations easily change over time. Idiot was once a neutral term, and moron a similar one. Negative senses of a word tend to crowd out neutral ones, so all of America's idiots and morons became retards. Once they realized that they were being called a bunch of retards, they came up with words like mentally challenged, special, drooling, or something that to this day remains incomprehensible . In a few decades, calling someone special may well be a grave insult. Well, really, it already is. Thanks, morons, for ruining a perfectly good word. A similar progression occurred with

penis → cock → meat popsicle
gay → homosexual → robot penis
Bukkake → group sex → transgender alliance meeting

A complementary "dysphemism treadmill" exists, but is currently occupied by a bunch of middle-aged women who cannot come to terms with the fact that their bodies are never going to look as good as they did 20 years ago, so it's pretty much ignored. One modern example is the word "sucks." "That sucks" began as American slang for "that is very unpleasant", and is shorthand for "that sucks dick." It developed over the late-20th century from being "that sucks dick" to being "that sucks cock", thus becoming a perfectly acceptable phrase, as there is nothing wrong with sucking roosters.

Through the use of euphemisms, statements like "I don't know who Bob Saget is, but I do know he sucks dick for cocaine" become "I don't know who Bob Saget is, but I do know he unpleasantly gives oral sex for coke".

And he is great at it.

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