An excellent example of euphemisms at work appears in Clover Hope's report today in Jezebel, about a Texas mother who complained to text book publisher McGraw-Hill about slaves being referred to as immigrant "workers" in her ninth grader's history text book: (Incidentally, is McGraw-Hill owned by country rock star super couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill?! Someone needs to look into this immediately!):
The mom rightly threw a hissy fit, and convinced the publisher to change this sadly common historical whitewash. Since the world is going to hell in a hand basket, it would be helpful to whitewash a few more atrocities in order to make them go down a little more smoothly.
Here's what I'm thinking--and note that some of these already exist anyway:
- School Shootings/Public Machine Gun Massacres: "Stuff Happening."
- Global Refugee Crisis: "Trans-boundary Migration Situation."
- Genocide: "Selective Homo Sapien Reduction."
- Xenophobia: "Border Security."
- Corrupt and Seemingly Invincible Corporate Lobbies: "Corporate Personhood."
- Fellow Human Beings in Need: "Illegal Aliens."
- Climate Change/Global Warming: "Minor Periodic Temperature Elevations."
- Famine: "Universal Nutritional Insufficiency."'
- Deeply-Entrenched Homophobic Bigotry: "Deeply-Held Religious Beliefs."
- Gaping, Conspicuous, Inexcusable Vacuum in Appropriate Legislation: "Loophole."
What's your favorite euphemism?