Euphemisms in Modern English

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A euphemism is defined as a non-harmful phrase or word used to substitute another word or phrase that is seen as, in some way, unpleasant. These words and phrases, though created with the best possible intentions, are slowly causing the English language to decay. For example, penitentiaries used to be led by a warden. In an effort to seem politically correct, penitentiaries, prisons and jails have been renamed to the, allegedly less controversial, title of “correctional facility” or “detention facility.” The wardens, as the leaders, are now referred to as the “correctional facility supervisor” or “detention facility supervisor.” With these new euphemisms, the words “penitentiary” and “warden,” which had no other use besides describing an actual prison or its leader, have been replaced. These old words are slowly disappearing from the English language, being replaced by softer phrases. The allegedly harsh words have been written out of the language, for fear of being offensive. It is one thing to replace an allegedly offensive or harsh word with another word meaning the same thing, but these euphemisms are simply removing the words from our lexicons and replacing them with presumably innocuous phrases.   

It is true that the English language, specifically in the United States, differs greatly from some other languages in that, here in the United States, the government does not directly control the words; their creation is simply spontaneous. However, the language is controlled by the oligarchy of the nation, essentially the top one percent who own companies which may write the dictionaries.   

There are hundreds of other examples of this phenomenon, many of which are highlighted in a famous George Carlin comedy routine, representing a quite troubling phenomenon. In George Orwell’s famous book 1984, depicting a totalitarian, dystopian future in the British Isles, the English language has been abandoned in favor of a new tongue, known as “Newspeak.” In Newspeak,...
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