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Just as a biologist can tell a critter from a creepy-crawly by the number of legs, euphemism enthusiasts can tell a 5-alarm, major-league, restaurant-quality euphemism by the presence of three words. Readers of previous columns may remember terms such as employee dialogue session, strategic dynamism effort, enhanced pension offer, life problem issue, taco meat filling, and customer pain point. Every time, three words = three metric tons of malarkey.  Continue reading...
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Some punctuation marks hog the spotlight, like the versatile, omnipresent comma and the flirty, oft-abused semicolon. Question marks and exclamation marks — the good cop, bad cop of punctuation — are forever in your face. The period subtly but emphatically makes its presence known, while parentheses are off gossiping and tittering like teenage girls. These are the usual suspects most people think of when it comes to punctuation.  Continue reading...
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In his latest monthly batch of under-the-radar euphemisms, Mark Peters illuminates why the care of "post-health professionals" might be necessary after someone is sent on a "trip to Belize."  Continue reading...
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I'm jealous.

That's my 2-word review of How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times by Roy Peter Clark, who I assume will appreciate the brevity.  Continue reading...
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Rebranding — which is a heckuva euphemism itself — has been the root cause of many euphemisms over the years, as fish have become sea kittens and rich jerks have become job creators. The latest attempt at ridiculous, retch-worthy rebranding is knowledge people: in other words, librarians.  Continue reading...
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Much like the government, the English spelling system is a popular punching bag. People love to kvetch about its inconsistencies and exceptions, lamenting the near-impossible task of learning to spell.  Continue reading...
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Lexicographer Hugh Rawson died recently. Among other accomplishments, he wrote Rawson's Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk, a monumental, essential look at euphemisms that every language-lover should own. I can't recommend it enough.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 91 Articles