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Coming from a Latin word, the term euphemism refers to a decorous manifestation , whose most direct and frank expression would be very hard or sound bad. It refers to a concept that serves to replace another more offensive, vulgar or even taboo; it is considered that the one used is the right one because politically correct . This means that the use of a euphemism prevents colliding with the interlocutor by telling him something that, otherwise, could be intolerable for him.

It can also be used to replace a secret name or with a comic intention . The goal of euphemism is to imply a reality but putting on the most conflicting aspects of it. In the case of humor, allows to express a grace in an intelligent way, forcing the receiver to understand the double meaning of a certain phrase.

The politics It is the area where euphemisms are most common. By making use of a euphemism, a politician can hide a decision that would be unpopular and present his proposals as more tolerable by the society . For example: “To guarantee growth, a tax adjustment is necessary” It is a euphemism that can be said instead of “We are going to increase taxes before the crisis”.

Another example of euphemisms in politics appears in international relations when there are war conflicts. The phrase "Collateral damage" masks the deaths of innocents that occur by a war . Society is more tolerant of the idea that a bombing caused "Significant collateral damage" instead of hearing that said attack “Generated the death of 200 civilians”. "Operation" instead of "invasion" It is another euphemism in the war environment.

Euphemisms are also common in everyday language. The notion of "Elderly" instead of "old man" or "old". While "old" it's offensive, the idea of "Elderly" suggests an advanced age more subtly than "old man".

The euphemisms and the politically correct

In the rhetoric (discipline related to all fields of knowledge that is responsible for studying and developing various procedures and techniques for proper use of language) a euphemism is a rhetorical figure that serves to substitute one term for another. The objective is to avoid using those words that may be unpleasant or hurtful in pursuit of others that can help express the same without causing a bad reaction in the listener. Although in the current literature less and less is used, this figure is often found in classic works.

In everyday life we ​​tend to use euphemisms a lot because we have been educated believing that certain things "look bad if we say them"; However, it is a mistake to think so. The words themselves they don't have a negative connotation; it is strictly linked with the social prejudices.

An example of euphemism may be to use the concept of "senior citizens" to refer to "old age" or "adult entertainment" so as not to say pornography.

There is talk of politically correct language and many claim not to be linked to it, however, we are all to a greater or lesser extent. The important thing is to know how to understand the limits; Do not exaggerate our understanding of others, but also do not treat someone who has not done anything to us in a bad way.

Using euphemisms can help us to relate to the world considerably, but abusing its use in our discourse can lead to maintain little direct communications and harm our development in front of the world; therefore, it is important to know when it is better to be politically correct and when to avoid euphemisms to be more natural and direct, with all the consequences that this implies.

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