Why we use euphemisms and what they say about our culture

Dec 29, 2010

Kick the bucket. Bun in the oven. Powder your nose. Euphemisms have been with us forever and they aren't going away any time soon. Where did they come from? Did you know that euphemisms originally became widely used as a clever way to avoid blasphemy? In his new book, Euphemania, author Ralph Keyes traces the origins of euphemisms from a tool of the church to a form of gentility to today's instrument of commercial, political, and postmodern doublespeak. Equal parts social commentary and fodder for word lovers, Euphemania, explores our power over words and their power over us. Why do we use euphemisms? What do they say about us? Have you used euphemisms to get away with blasphemous or anti-social ideas?

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