Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lexicons of Lost Lifestyles: In Passing, Part II

We know what a euphemism is, and the current political climate is full to the brim, finding more and more creative ways to befuddle the common citizen, to make the dubious more "acceptable." And that is the function of a euphemism. To veil or soften the harsher reality. In her latest article, "Lexicons of Lost Lifestyles: In Passing, Part II," Jean Hibben schools us on yet another term intended to manipulate perception, the "dysphemism," the substitution of one word for another, making it more unpleasant or unacceptable. So we can make things sound better than they really are, but we can also make them sound worse. As my son likes to say, "Presentation is everything."

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