8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 99 Articles

I'm not an Apple guy, but this month I am, because the most egregious euphemisms I've come across since last month hail from the land of Steve-Jobs-istan. As covered in Language Log, "as it turns out" is Apple-ese for unfortunately, and "That's not recommended" replaces any comment remotely equivalent to "Duh!"  Continue reading...
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In William Goldman's terrific 1989 book, Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting, he uses the term nonrecurring phenomenon for films whose success mystifies Hollywood executives and their magic 8-balls.  Continue reading...
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In over 10 years of teaching college writing classes (my other gig besides reporting on obscure euphemisms in Evasive Maneuvers) I've seen boatloads of comma splices, goofy fonts, and misspellings of not only my name but the student's own. Plus plagiarism. Oh, the plagiarism I've seen! If plagiarism were flowers, I'd have earned a second Ph.D. in botany by now. Here are a few examples harvested from my ever-blooming garden of academic dishonesty. Warning: you may need to hold your nose.  Continue reading...
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A few months ago, New Yorker cartoonist and SXSW attendee Drew Dernavich wrote a tweet so full of euphemisms it made me fall out of my sitting tool. Sitting tool? Here’s the tweet:

Just sat in chair whose creator said it was a "sitting tool" with a "learning curve" which stimulated the "conception vessel."
 Continue reading...
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The current love of my life is Green's Dictionary of Slang: an enormous, meticulous, ridiculously wonderful historical dictionary that's the biggest slang collection ever made (uncurated Wiki-crapola like Urban Dictionary doesn't count). Jonathon Green's slangapalooza is an extraordinary source for fulfilling this column's mission: finding under-the-radar euphemisms.  Continue reading...
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Charlie Sheen's ongoing meltdown has been a godsend for the lexicon. (Read VT supreme commander Ben Zimmer, Slate's Christopher Beam, or me for more.) But what has he done for the wild world of euphemisms?  Continue reading...
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What is it about the three-word phrase that lends itself so well to euphemisms?

From enhanced interrogation techniques to life problem issues, the three-word form is a red flag for a five-star euphemism. One that made headlines in January — marking our first candidate for Euphemism of the Year 2011 — was taco meat filling, a disturbing term/substance that Taco Bell confessed is the secret ingredient in their tacos and other "beef" products.  Continue reading...
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8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 99 Articles