Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Euphemisms

Euphemisms are usually meant to deaden, smooth over, assuage outrage and yet have quite the opposite effect once we begin to see them as euphemisms. I hear the phrase 'extraordinary rendition' about five times a day. The phrase conjures up a virtuoso performance - an opera singer shrieking at the top of her voice. This is probably what a person who is having his fingernails pulled out sounds like. So the next time you hear the phrase 'extraordinary rendition', scream.

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