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Studies show that many people, pets, and colleagues are dumber than a brick. (Or, if you want to look on the bright side, as smart as a box of rocks.) However, as any manners maven will tell you, comparing a co-worker or schnauzer's intelligence to a stump or post is rather cruel. Thankfully, best-selling sportswriter Bill Simmons has concocted a five-word, poppycock-stuffed, restaurant-quality euphemism for stupidity: saddled with limited intellectual capital.  Continue reading...

No one wants to be replaced in someone's heart or cubicle. Still, getting a pink slip at work or from a significant other is like a chocolate cupcake made of pizza compared to the sense of replacement I recently spotted in a New Yorker article by Elizabeth Kolbert.  Continue reading...

I don't often feel like I'm contributing much to the world, because I'm not. Doctors, teachers, librarians, and people making dog-sprinkler videos are all benefiting society more than yours truly.  Continue reading...

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...

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...

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...

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...

4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 73 Articles