8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 96 Articles

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."
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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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In this special edition of Evasive Maneuvers, our euphemism-meister Mark Peters reviews a new book on verbal evasions, Euphemania: Our Love Affair with Euphemisms by Ralph Keyes. According to Keyes, euphemisms serve as "an excellent way to determine what we find embarrassing."  Continue reading...
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The American Dialect Society’s annual meeting is coming up, and like all word nerds, I have Word of the Year fever. I won’t be in Pittsburgh for the meeting, but as the only euphemism columnist in this star quadrant, I want to make a case for euphemism of the year.  Continue reading...
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Even the most kind and gentle soul can probably think of dozens of people to loathe, despise, disrespect, scorn, condemn, resent, pooh-pooh, or simply hold in contempt — the unkindest cuddle of all. But it’s difficult to discuss the objects of our hatred in language that captures the despicable-ness of the named while keeping the namer clean of the mud being slung.  Continue reading...
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8 9 10 11 12 Displaying 64-70 of 96 Articles