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Euphemisms In Our Language

Customer Description: 

Decide whether or not we should keep euphemisms in our language. Take a position and support it with evidence and reasons.

Paper Body:

What are the origins of euphemisms? The term comes from Greek -"eu" means well and "pheme" means speaking. The translation gives us a clear idea of euphemism; it can be figuratively called "a whitewashing device". Euphemisms are highly important expressive means of any language and are frequently used in everyday life. They make our speech more expressive, vivid, and colorful. Euphemisms adapt speech to different situations. When we speak about someone who is unfaithful and dishonest we should not immediately call him "a liar" or "a cheater". In case we want just to imply this idea, we would rather use the word combination "to tell the stories" or "to have a bright imagination". If we were determined to stress the idea, we would better say "to lie" or even "to cheat". Thus euphemisms help us to fit to the proper context and to express our ideas clearly.

Euphemism, as is known, is a word or phrase used to replace an unpleasant word or expression by a conventionally more acceptable one. Let us consider the following example - the word "to die". Almost everyone feels upset and frustrated when hears about death, which is quite an unpleasant thing. The word has acquired some euphemisms: to pass away, to expire, to be no more, to depart, to join the majority, to be gone, to come to the better world. All these euphemisms appeared naturally in the process of everyday usage. People instinctively try to avoid the word not to offend or to hurt one's feelings. So euphemisms are synonyms that aim at producing a deliberately mild effect. When we use them in proper situations, we care about other people.

In present slang is widely used in our speech and it continues to enrich our vocabulary. Slang is used for many purposes. The same term may express diametrically opposed attitudes when used by different people. Many slang terms are primarily derogatory, though they may also be ambivalent when used in intimacy or affection. The same words may be used by different people for the opposite effect. "Jesus freak," originally used as ridicule, was adopted as a title by certain street evangelists. Slang sometimes insults or shocks when used directly; some terms euphemized a sensitive concept, though obvious or excessive euphemism may break the taboo more effectively than a less decorous term. In such a way euphemisms make our language richer.

To point out the value of euphemisms we can divide them into several groups according to the sphere of application. The most recognized are the following: religious, moral, medical and parliamentary or political. We distinguish these groups of euphemisms because conventionally the given spheres of human activities have been rather delicate. For example religion traditionally required and initiated in human minds fear, respect and other feelings. The British Parliament accepted a number of words, which were not allowed in the official speeches and ceremonies. It is supposed that all these spheres require a very careful choice of words...




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