Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Euphemism

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Time to go wandering around the archives.

My language is being emasculated. Not since the days of H. L. Mencken and Dorothy Parker has it been considered insightful to say that nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public or that an actress runs the gamut of emotions from A to B. Now language must be soft and unoffensive. We have health centers, not hospitals; human resources, not personnel (I assume these resources are to be exploited like any other); refuse, not garbage; pre-owned, not used cars. All to soften the edges of life's little unpleasantries.

And justice centers, not jails. These come-hither advertising signs adorn the building that replaced the old St. Louis City Jail. It's annoying. I mean, who is in this place and why? Of course, justice, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. But for heaven's sake, speak plainly.
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8 comments:

Birdman said...

hahahahaha! Gotta agree on this post. Ridiculous!

brattcat said...

Big Brother is not only watching...

Olivier said...

j'avoue ne pas bien comprendre, mon anglais est malheureusement trop limité

Luis Gomez said...

Totally agree with you.

U "R" Us said...

Wow. I just heard about this from Nic last trip. We had some jokes about the name that I can't for the life of me remember now. But those signs look like they're for a friggin arena!

Lisergic Synaesthesiae said...

Witty observation, you are absolutely right. Our times are seeded by this culture of the soft definitions, with smoothed angles and the politically correct rule.

So our mind is forced to accept this new 'terminology' spread everywhere and, graciously, they change the way we think.


Thanks for sharing that.

cieldequimper said...

I couldn't agree more. We even have "non-seeing" (non voyant) for blind (aveugle). I always wonder what the hell that changes to the fact that a person can't see.

Nathalie said...

Justice centers, eh? I learned something today. Completely with you on the rest of your commentary.