Saturday, August 8, 2009

Question: Your Favorite Euphemisms?

We used to be a plain spoken people. Then came the lawyers. . . and the PR people. Now you need a guidebook to figure out what everyone is talking about. We don’t torture people, we use enhanced interrogation techniques, which sounds suspiciously like a premium plan at a health club. We have persons of interest and disinterested persons, enforced voluntary compliance and involuntary non-compliance, and collateral damage, which is not the same as just plain collateral. We send our huskier junior citizens to image enhancement camp, and our accountants to sleep with the fishes. It’s enough to make your head spin. Tell us your favorite euphemisms . . .

21 comments:

LawHawkSF said...

Andy: From our own wonderful world of the law: "This Court deems the dog to be a cat for purposes of this hearing." "Deems" being a legalese euphemism for "pretends."

DCAlleyKat said...

"Too big to fail"...gets me everytime.

BevfromNYC said...

"stimulus"

AndrewPrice said...

I kind of like "Congressman" instead of "village idiot."

But my all time favorite is still "sleep with the fishes." OR, as Gary Larson put it for fish, "sleep with the humans."

Mike Kriskey said...

Undocumented workers, or as I like to call them, our illegal amigos.

I hate "enhanced interrogation," though. (I think I'm in favor of the practice, but it's a tough call.) The term, though, is ridiculous. How about "coercive interrogation?"

Tennessee Jed said...

From my corporated days, in 1982 INA corp. merged with Connecticut General to form CIGNA. On the property and casualty side of the house, INA was being merged with Aetna Insurance Company. Obviously, there were too many middle managers, too many employees overall. The poor losers were not fired, of course, they were "deselected." It was not a fun time certainly, but I look back on it now, and laugh out loud at that term

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, "deselected", wow! I've never heard that one. That sounds a lot like "voided." There are so many "you're fired" words these days. I think "destaff" is the last one I heard.

One of the interesting ironies of euphemisms, is that once they become generally recognized, they lose their power to defuse the nasty connotation and a new euphemism is needed. Thus, "letting go" becomes as bad as "firing." So you need to change "letting go" to something even softer.

DCAlleyKat, "Too big to fail" is an interesting one because it just drops the one word "let".

Bev, if you're not finding the "stimulus" stimulating, then perhaps they're doing it wrong?

Mike, we've actually argued about enhanced interrogation in the past. I seem to be against, Lawhawk in favor -- we agreed to agree after waterboarding each other with extreme prejudice.

LawHawkSF said...

Tennessee: We have an amazing amount in common. My kids' godfather worked for INA in L.A., left for awhile, and when he went back to work for them in Northridge, Ca, they had merged. He retired on one of those very nice CIGNA insurance company pensions, but like an idiot he dropped his CIGNA medical plan, which was dirt-cheap, and went with the VA, which is free, and like most government programs, useless.

CrisD said...

"restructuring"

This is when you have more work and less money for the people who survive "destaffing."

*husband did not survive "destaffing" last week! Alas, we must "downsize" due to "jobless recovery"!!!!

BevfromNYC said...

"Deselected" reminds me of "disassembled" from the movie Short Circuit.

The euphemism in late '80's was "downsized".

StanH said...

Out of the 2000 campaign, compassionate conservative. Homeless person, or as a local talk show says, urban outdoorsman.

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - that is very interesting, indeed! I probably know him because in the early 80's, I had responsibility for the west coast for underwriting, so I visited California offices quite a bit in those days.

The first time I ever went to L.A. was in 1976 to see a buddy who had moved out there and was installing burglar alarms for the stars. He was living in a house in North Ridge with the son of Chuck Connors (the Rifleman) and a few others. It was the first time I ever met a Rhodesian Ridgeback. He greeted me on the run and jumped up and pushed me into the pool. He loved tp play rough, I'll tell you.

When Ace Group bought Cigna P&C in 1998, they had a falling out so we went with Big Aetna for health coverage, but I did get to learn a lot about great insurance plans as well as black belt H.M.O.'s. over the years. I still have great coverage, but no longer cheap thanks to Andrew and the tort lobby (Andrew, just kidding buddy, l.o.l) Anyway, small world and we both seem to have turned out pretty good despite it all n'est pas?

AndrewPrice said...

CrisD, sorry to hear about your husband. I hope he finds something new quickly.


Stan, I can't stand "compassionate conservative." I can't beleive Bush said that because he played right into the left's propoganda that conservatives don't care about people. That really made me angry.

StanH said...

Conservatism is the ultimate in compassion, it represents freedom, individual rights. These are the things that make this country great not government and focus group catch phrases as you said tacitly accepts the liberal premise of the all giving government. That was a bad move on President Bush’s first campaign and was indeed a harbinger of “No Child Left Behind, Drug Benefit for Seniors, Immigration Reform, etc.

AndrewPrice said...

Exactly Stan. It is completely not true that conservatives lack compassion, they simply don't think the government should be in the business of dispensing it. Indeed, how compassionate is it really to want the government to take money from one person and give it to another? That's not compassion, that's envy.

Trying to create something called "compassionate conservatism" simply tarred the rest of the conservative movement and played into their hands.

I go back to the first warning we should have had on this: "a kinder, gentler America", which acted as an indictment on the Reagan years. THAT ticked me off, and a lot of others as well. And frankly, I wish we'd put together that quote with the compassionate thing earlier. It might have saved us 8 years of big government masquerading as conservatism.

Suzie1 said...

I accidently typed "togethere" earlier.

I don't think it's a word, but I think it should be and we should all start using it to mean something right away.

AndrewPrice said...

Suzie, you mean like "that's the road I took togethere"? Or did you have something else in mind?

Suzie1 said...

Since it's new, I don't know, but I would suggest a meaning like 'we are all getting to a point x as a group simultaneously.' (physically, emotionally, group thought ?; together - there ??)

Or maybe it should remain merely a typo!! lol

AndrewPrice said...

Suzie, so perhaps you mean something like, "when they ran out of cookies at the meeting because of the new federal cap on cookie consumption, we all came togethere and burned down the capital."

Work's for me!

Suzie1 said...

Yeah, something like that!

patti said...

pelosi's "un-american" = you have been flagged.

"astro-turfing" = libs running scared.

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