Thursday, January 14, 2010

Straight talk

A euphemism is a mild, indirect, or vague term substituted for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive. Politicians, bureaucrats, spin doctors, and advertising copywriters use lots of euphemisms to lull us into complacency about uncomfortable truths.

I can turn a blind eye to bath tissue, correctional facility, pre-owned, and senior citizen, but there are a few others that I'd like to see replaced by something with a little more truthiness:

Global Warming --- This term has been gradually replaced by Climate Change, which still sounds a bit too much like the possibility of poor skiing. How about Global Destruction?

Suicide Bombers --- A better description would be Homicide Bombers, as they are premeditated murderers. They are just collateral damage of their own crimes.

Collateral Damage --- This sounds like your bank is calling in your loan. Why not call it what it is: Dead Civilians.

Sub-prime Mortgage --- The borrower has no chance in hell of making the payments, let alone ever paying it off, particularly after it adjusts to market interest rates. Call it Loony Lending.

Negative Growth --- Economist-speak for In the Dumper. Anyone for Kraft Dinner and mashed potato sandwiches?

Disadvantaged and Underprivileged --- Dress it up anyway you like, but this means Poor.

Chemical Dependency
--- Let's be frank. This is Drug Addiction.

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques
--- If you're on the receiving end, it's Torture, plain and simple. That's something human beings shouldn't be doing to each other, no matter what.

Food Insecurity ---
In North America, agonizing over whether to order dessert. For much of the world this is Hunger, maybe Starvation.

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