Posts Tagged ‘Euphemism’

The Unholy Word

Alan F. Guttmacher, former President of Planned Parenthood of America, sought to “detoxify” the word “abortion.” He wanted to purge it of all negative associations so that children of the coming generation would grow up thinking of abortion only in positive terms.

Words, however, are stubbornly persistent. Dictionaries do not always bend to ideology. Despite the efforts of Dr. Guttmacher and others who followed him, this unholy word has retained its unholy character. The new strategy is...

Overcoming Suffering with Love

Recently, a friend told me that he was studying the life of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa. Blessed Alexandrina was chosen by God to be a “victim soul” – one who offers up her suffering for the sake of others in union with the cross of Christ.

She suffered tremendously, experiencing near paralysis, great misunderstandings from family and friends, and even lived out the last 13 years of her life consuming nothing...

The Power of Communication: A Reflection on Euphemism

Let’s face it, we all do it. At a fine restaurant we would much sooner politely inquire for directions to the “restroom,” then brashly ask: “Where’s the toilet?”

It is a natural human tendency to perform a degree of instant self-sanitization of our phraseology, in order to accommodate our current audience, or, to quote the immortal Mary Poppins, to add the proverbial “spoonful of sugar” to help the medicine go down.

The...