Monday, April 04, 2005
At the risk of sounding like comedian George Carlin, I'm going to go off today on one particular euphemism that I think isn't really doing anybody any good.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines Euphemism as:
The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive: “Euphemisms such as ‘slumber room’... abound in the funeral business” (Jessica Mitford).Harsh, blunt, or offensive. In otherwords, we have to play nicely and not tell people what they need to know, the truth. To some people, euphmisms are a way of "softening the blow" that the truth brings. To me, it's a way of hiding behing vague and distorting language.
The particular euphemism that I have a problem with is one that you see on personal ads all of the time. Full-Figured. What the hell is going on here? There used to be a time where people were "fat." Then they went to being "plus sizes." Now they are "full-figured." When did this start? Unless you are missing a part of your body that you were born with, such as an arm or leg or eye, then you are full figured. You have all of your parts. You're not missing anything. Your figure isn't half or three-quarters, it's full. However, if when you stand in the shower, your body reaches from the shower curtain to the wall, you are fat. Get over it. Go out and run. Put the twinky down. And for sake of preserving what little strength the English language has, stop weakening it with these euphemisms just to guard your ego.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:20 AM