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The Americans is my favorite TV show. Set in the 1980s, it features a web of duplicity like I've never seen, as married KGB agents Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings lie to their neighbors, manipulate their children, steal deadly chemical weapons, murder a bunch of people, wear lots of wigs, and try to maintain a healthy marriage while destroying America. Unsurprisingly, the show's many dastardly deceivers often use euphemisms.  Continue reading...
Fun
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Garner's Modern English Usage, which just released its fourth edition, is potentially a damn useful thing to me. And after looking through Bryan A. Garner's latest, I can report that the potential is realized: this is an extremely useful and sensible guide. I don't know if I would sleep with it under my pillow, but I won't keep it far from my desk.  Continue reading...
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After last month's keen analysis of remix—perhaps the most obnoxious euphemism for a layoff ever—fellow contributor Nancy Friedman tweeted me another example from this bottomless genre: "A friend was told that her layoff was 'a continuation of growth that was started in the department a couple of years ago.'"  Continue reading...
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Have we already seen the Euphemism of the Year? It's possible, euphemism enthusiasts: brace yourselves for a major-league, double-tongued, weapons-grade whopper of a doozy.  Continue reading...
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As most word-watchers predicted, the American Dialect Society picked Netflix and chill as 2015's Most Euphemistic term. It was an obvious and strong choice, even though it makes me want to Netflix and take my own life at this point.  Continue reading...
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It's hard to believe another year has left the building, leaving us all closer to singing with the angels, talking a dirt nap, or insert your euphemism for death here. Like any other year, 2015 was full of new words and old words newly prominent. While many of these terms were stalwart members of the lexicon, others were sneaky, sketchy, and suspect: there were euphemisms aplenty.  Continue reading...
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It's almost the end of 2015, and a new frontrunner for Euphemism of the Year has emerged. In a Department of Justice press release, Attorney General Loretta Lynch wrote, "The Department of Justice is committed to giving justice-involved youth the tools they need to become productive members of society."

As Shakespeare put it, "Wow."  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 125 Articles