A Study on Euphemisms in Business English

Topics: Euphemism, Taboo, Past tense Pages: 13 (3834 words) Published: April 28, 2013
A Study on Euphemisms in Business English
中文并列题目:浅析委婉语在商务英语中的应用 Abstract

Euphemism in English is not only a kind of “lubricant” when people taking language communication activities, but is an effective kind of language form which created when people seeking for an ideal communication environment. In order to avoid the mistake in business English people need to know what Euphemism is and its functions in business English. In the international trade and business activities, if business personnel can use some implicative, gentle, polite language, and to express desires or perspectives tactful and indirectly, then it can create an equal friendly atmosphere, and build a credibility cooperative parties relation, so as to stable commercial communication successful eventually. Euphemism is widely used in business English, and almost involved all fields and each link of transaction process in commercial activities. The application of euphemism in business English is flexible and has various forms. This article will study the application of euphemism in English.

Key words: Euphemism; Business English; Communication



关键词: 委婉语;商务英语;交际


1. Definition and classification of Euphemism7
1.1 Definition of Euphemism7
1.2 The Classification of Euphemism8
2. The Tectonic Means of Euphemism9
3. The Importance of Euphemism in Business English10
4. The Communication Functions of Euphemism in Business English11 4.1 The easement of the tense atmosphere11
4.2 Maintenance of cooperative parties face11
4.3 The establishment of the long-term friendly business relations12 5. Grammar means and vocabulary means of euphemism in the business English13 5.1 Vocabulary13
5.1.1 Nouns13
5.1.2 Verbs13
5.1.3 Adverbs14
5.1.4 Prepositions and prepositional phrases14
5.2 Grammar15
5.2.1 Past tenses15
5.2.2 Passive voice15
5.2.3 Subjunctive mood16
5.2.4 Tactful negative17
5.2.5 Negative tone weakening17


With the further reform and opening in China, the accelerant process of global economic integration, and the more and more active market economy, the international business relationships with the world get an unprecedented development. English became the important language tool in the international business communication activities. In order to establish the perfect enterprise image and ground to customer trust and satisfaction as much as possible, business people often use euphemism and euphemistic expressions both in letters and written expression, or in business negotiations to express desires or perspectives politely tactful and indirectly, then it can create an equal friendly atmosphere, and build a credibility cooperative parties relationship, to stable commercial communication successful eventually during the process of product promotion, attract customers, expand the markets. For this purpose, business practitioners often need to use the weapons which are warm and friendly of courtesy, tactful kind words thus formed a distinctive characteristics in business English with correctly words or cautious strict terms. English euphemistic is a common phenomenon when people use in the business English, which is not only a social language phenomenon, but it is a cultural phenomenon, English stated that, “a language without euphemistic would be a defective instrument of communication”. Hugh Rawson(1981,3)also put forward “euphemisms are embedded so deeply in our language that few of us, even those who pride themselves on being plain spoken, ever get through a day without using them.”

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