Euphemism In George Carin

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Euphemisms Keep Us Cozy
There is no doubt in my mind that anyone reading this today would be offended if I were to refer to a boy with Down’s syndrome as retarded or crippled. But why should they? The vast majority of the population is not suffering from this or another debilitating disease. Neither are they likely to have a personal relationship with someone who is. Despite this general lack of acquaintanceship, most people prefer to use euphemistic terms like “special” or “developmentally disabled.” However, George Carlin disapproves of the use of euphemisms because he sees it as a soft form of speech intended to protect the speaker’s feelings. In a comedy routine, he lambasts words like “mobile homes” and “irregularity” because “Americans
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To use Carlin’s example, the condition once known as “shell shock” had to be changed because it is itself quite vague. People do not have shells so one might wonder if the condition is a veterinary term for a forceful impact on a turtle’s shell. “Battle fatigue” and “operational exhaustion” are also very limited in their scope because anyone can suffer similar symptoms without ever having been to war. “PTSD,” however, defines the condition in the name and is not reserved only for veterans. As the medical community became aware that anyone having experienced severe, traumatic stress can develop the condition we know today as PTSD, the words we use for it changed to meet the new standards our knowledge. The medically accepted term for Syphilis was once known to doctors as “bad blood;” feebleness due to old age was known as “decrepitude;” and drug withdrawals were known as “the horrors.” Certainly, the medical terms used today are not euphemisms intended to hide the truth. Instead they reflect a greater understanding of the conditions name. As medical understanding expanded, the words for conditions had to expand along with …show more content…
Some people are so easily offended that even the most mundane words have them demanding an apology. I was on a social media app called Yik Yak not too long ago. In it, people can post anything they want anonymously. A lot of the posts are focused on relationships so many posts talk about men and women. One read, “Why can’t I just find a nice girl who likes me for me?” That was enough to enrage at least one anonymous feminist who insisted the word “girl” was offensive to “wimmin” everywhere. The word girl in this context referred specifically to a person’s gender. It bore no qualitative assessment of anyone’s maturity, intelligence, importance, strength, or abilities. That sentence was completely innocuous but one person insisted on making it a point of contention because of what are, presumably, her own insecurities. These are the kinds of situations that have turned people like George Carlin against euphemisms. Fortunately, cases like these are not very common. Euphemisms still occupy a useful position in everyday

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