Est. Contributor
In this day and age,

I've noticed that the use of euphemisms has increased sharply. In the management/business world, we have word and phrases like "Paradigm shift" and "downsizing" to describe people getting laid off or losing their jobs. In the political sphere, we have "enhanced interrogation techniques" to describe torture and "job creators" for the wealthy and elite. In the incontinence industry, "fitted briefs" are used to describe adult diapers. I understand that euphemisms are used to put uncomfortable topics into more acceptable or palatable terms.

It's human nature to want to make unpleasant truths go away. I do the same thing. When I told my boyfriend about my incontinence, I used phrases like "bladder issues" to describe my incontinence and my "diapers" became the convoluted phrase of "things-I-use-to-mangage-my-condition".

Sometimes euphemisms can be appropriate. If you have a friend whose spouse has recently died, it would be inappropriate to say something like "fell off a roof" as the person is in real pain and the added brunt of blunt language is not needed in that scenario. In the world, I think that the overuse euphemisms are a part of the problem. They put distance to the actual truth of the consequences of actions and words. Euphemisms sugar coat pressing issues. For this reason, I believe that part of change is getting rid of some of these euphemisms so that people can see the truth in what governments, corporations, the people in their lives, or even themselves are doing.


Est. Contributor
Your post got this stuck in my head…

And yes, it is important to be aware of how euphemisms (and choice of words in general) can shift how people will think about things. I've always found "enhanced interrogation techniques" particularly irksome. >.<