Euphemisms and English Learning

Topics: English language, Language education, Teaching English as a foreign language Pages: 5 (817 words) Published: March 9, 2011




Euphemisms and English Lear ning
( 511325)
【Abstract 】Euphemisms are a linguistic technique for people to achieve various goals in communication.So mastering euphemisms is very important for our English learning.This passage mainly talks about relations of euphemisms and English learning. 【Key words 】Euphemism ;English learning

1 Introduction
Euphemisms are “defensive in nature offsetting the power of tabooed terms and otherwise eradicating from the language everything that people prefer not to deal with directly. ”Thanks to these euphemisms, it is easy for people to accept the things that are likely to make others feel embarrassed or unhappy.It is people ’s general character to express their ideas as mildly and tactfully as possible.Euphemisms help people to reach this goal.Just as British linguist Hillaire Belloc said, euphemisms make people realize that they are not excellent and make embarrassing speech become elegant.


Euphemisms and English learning

2 The social functions of euphemisms
The social functions of euphemisms are often used to cover the truth. The euphemisms related to politics give an excellent explanation for this. The Watergate Scandal made people more sensitive to political language. It became necessary to use euphemisms to make the sensitive political concepts softened and vague.Hence, the “Caper incident ”substituted “phones taps ”, “go the hangout road ” for “tell the truth ” and “stone wall ” for “flatly refuse to cooperate ”.Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.This function of euphemisms also finds embodiment in some false advertisements.In the publicity materials for the car provided by Ford Company, we can find the following sentence: “Continued driving with a failed bearing could result in disengagement of the axle shaft and adversely affect vehicle control. ” The real meaning of the above sentence is to tell drivers that “a failed bearing ” will lead to greater danger and probably kill the driver, but this meaning is euphemized in language so much so that the reader gets the impression that it is natural for the car to have such serious problems.The key reason for your being killed when this trouble occurs is that you are driving the car.So you should be responsible for the consequence of the incident. Based on the above, we can make the generalization of the social functions of euphemisms: euphemisms help the speaker feel relaxed talking about the things which he/she feels too shy to mention, the things which tend to place both the speaker and listener in a state of embarrassment, or the things which might probably make him/her appear disgraced if spoker directly.Euphemisms can protect the listener ’s self — esteem, and sometimes vanity from being hurt.So euphemisms also serve as an important rhetorieal technique. ● (

Euphemisms are a linguistic technique for people to achieve various goals in communication. Therefore, encoding euphemisms correctly and using them properly are closely related to whether a person can conduct successful communication.I think the final aim of English learning is that to make us communicate with native English speaker successfully.We should use euphemisms in our talk and writing actively.The euphemisms reflect people ’s morals and values, we can find out the nature of the people who speak one language as their mother tongue through euphemisms.Different cultures bring about different euphemisms.We also can understand English culture through euphemisms.So,firstly,we should notice the importance of euphemisms in communication.We should learn their cultural background and the context in which these euphemisms are used,so that we can use them properly.Secondly,we should use some euphemisms in our communication.By doing so,the communication can go more smoothly.In addition,through using...
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