Fair of Speech: The Uses of Euphemism (Oxford Paperbacks)

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9780192830609: Fair of Speech: The Uses of Euphemism (Oxford Paperbacks)
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Can a bomb ever be "clean"? Are we relieved to be warned that there will be an "odor" when once we were told that something would "stink"? Or when is a euphemism a mark of good taste and when is it a sign of verbal obfuscation? To answer such questions, Enright invited 16 distinguished writers to ponder and explore the ubiquitous phenomenon of euphemism. The result is a delightful and provocative collection that not only includes general reflections on euphemism and its history but also treats such specific categories as sex, death, and other natural functions; politics; the language of the great Christian texts; euphemisms spoken to and by children; the law; medicine; office life; and the jargon of official spokesmen, military communiques, and tyrants. Such writers as Diane Johnson, Robert Nisbet, John Gross, Robert Burchfield, and Joseph Epstein bring a variety of perspectives and sensibilities to bear on these topics. Because euphemisms are so intimate and integral to our thinking, any study of them is bound to throw light on the human condition, both past and present. Humor here jostles horror and the homely alternates with the farfetched. Taken together they form an eloquent and often amusing testament to the richness of the subject. Contents: Mother or maid? An introduction / D.J. Enright -- An outline history of euphemisms in English / Robert Burchfield -- Euphemisms in Greece and Rome / Jasper Griffin -- Soft soap and the nitty-gritty / Robert M. Adams -- Sex and euphemism / Joseph Epstein -- Euphemism and argot in France / Richard Cobb -- Euphemisms and children / Catherine Storr -- In the office / Jeremy Lewis -- Elizabeth Bennet's fine eyes / Patricia Beer -- Euphemisms and the media / Derwent May -- The law / David Pannick -- Do doctors mean what they say? / Diane Johnson and John F. Murray -- The religious speak-easy / Peter Mullen -- Politics / Simon Hoggart -- The state / Robert Nisbet -- Intimations of mortality / John Gross.

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9780192122360: Fair of Speech: The Uses of Euphemism

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ISBN 10:  0192122363 ISBN 13:  9780192122360
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1985
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