Thursday, April 07, 2005

Euphemisms solve nothing

New Euphemism:
Heard on local NPR station WAMU: "Most murders in DC are caused by 'loosely-knit neighborhood groups.'"

You mean, ummh, gangs?

As an avid and passionate linguophile, I cannot tolerate euphemistic language when it attempts to lessen the stigma of crime or bad behavior.
"Loosely knit neighborhood groups"? Why on Earth would NPR wish to make GANGMEMBERS look any better? What purpose does it serve? Euphemisms are useful when you want to put difficult information in a tactful way to someone you respect. I have to question why NPR wishes to garner the respect of gang members.
What other criminal euphemisms can we come up with?
Hypervelocitators = Speeders
Aggressively Unrequested Intercourse = Rape
Nonmedical Nonconsentual Devitalization = Murder
Politically-oriented decisive action groups = Terrorists
Unbalanced Landscaping Tool Enthusiast = Axe Murderer
Feel free to post your own. The winner of the best one will be awarded a career on a left-of-center radio show.


Anonymous Alex said...

How about...

"Habitual unauthorized incendiary substance applicator" = arsonist

"Domestic physical altercation initiator" = wifebeater

"Homicide quality assurance specialist" = hitman

"Clandestine wallet apprehension" = pickpocketing

12:26 AM  
Blogger Phil Aldridge said...

Exactly! Very funny!

8:56 AM  

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