A Euphemism is used to make something sound better than it actually is.
Wiktionary defines it as "The use of a word or phrase to replace another with one that is considered less offensive or less vulgar than the word or phrase it replaces."
- passed away: died
- went to heaven: died (often used with children, as in "Grandma went to heaven.")
- downsizing: getting rid of employees
- sanitation worker: trash collector
- fatal injury: death
- fatality: dead/killed person
- fence: wall
- casualties: deaths and injuries
- collateral damage: damage, death, injury to non-combatants and their property
- sharpshooter: sniper
- promoting democracy: enforcing hegemonic rule
- active defending: attacking
- pre-loved: divorced
- pre-owned: used
- abuse: torture
- coercive interrogation techniques: torture
- neutralize: assassinate
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- Definition of euphemism, accessed November 2010.
- Definition of euphemism, Wiktionary, accessed November 2010.
- Spencer Akerman, "A Glossary of Iraq Euphemisms", The American Prospect, August 6, 2008.
- Glenn Thompson, "The 12 Most Horrifically Misleading Euphemisms", Cracked.com, December 16, 2008.
- Glenn Greenwald, "The NYT's nice, new euphemism for torture", Salon, June 6, 2009.