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Book Nook: Euphemania - Our Love Affair with Euphemisms, Ralph Keyes (Part 1)
Part one of a two-part conversation with Ralph Keyes about his new book, Euphemania - Our Love Affair with Euphemisms.
Euphemania - Our Love Affair with Euphemisms, Ralph Keyes (Little Brown)
December 20, 2010
Euphemistic language is a staple of polite conversation. We use euphemisms to dance around delicate subjects. We say someone has "passed away" when we don't wish to say that they have died. We refer to the "restroom" when we don't want to say that we are headed off to the toilet. The term "friendly fire" is a military euphemism for the unfortunate occasions when soldiers have killed their fellow soldiers by mistake.
Every day we invent new euphemisms. Ralph Keyes examines our enduring affection for employing euphemisms in his latest book, "Euphemania." In
part one of a two part interview Keyes discusses some of the subjects that inspire us to find other words to describe them; there's sex - anatomical descriptions - excretions - secretions - death - money. The list goes on
and on. That's why we ended up doing two interviews about this fascinating subject.