Euphemism A Technique of Expression

Euphemism often serves the purposes of diplomatic expression. Again it serves some commercial purposes also. But the prominent authors and writers have made the most effective use of Euphemism in their literary works. Moreover, a man consciously or subconsciously uses a lot of euphemisms in his daily affairs. As Garner says, they "thrive as much today as ever." (266).Euphemism has its root in the Greek language. The Greek word or pronunciation “eu” means good, “phem” means “speak”. In ancient Greece, it was thought “to speak a name was to evoke the divinity whose power then had to be confronted" (Neaman Silver 2). As Scott Alkire defines Euphemism, “Euphemisms are words we use to soften the reality of what we are communicating to a given listener or reader” (Alkire). A man uses euphemisms to communicate taboos or something that is restricted in society. Meanwhile, euphemism helps a man keep himself in a safe position away from taboo. The use of euphemism has two sides: the user and the person for whom it is used. Both of the contexts of the user and the person for whom it is used, determine the aspect of the use of euphemism. The user, in most cases, uses euphemisms to express taboos in such a way that the listeners or the readers may decode it. According to Alkire, euphemisms are used “to express what is socially difficult to express in direct terms” (Alkire).As to the power of language, Norman Fairclough says, “Language creates reality" (172). Euphemism is often considered as one of the pillars of the modified power of language. Thoughts and feelings expressed through a careful selection of euphemism are stronger than the emotional attack in language. Thoughts may come with the bitterest expression that may offend thetarget-audience or readers. Such expression becomes more cultured and palatable through the filter of euphemized use of vocabulary. A user of the euphemized words is provided with multiple options to present his or her thought, judgments, and references to the taboo before his or her audience. In this regard, the user should have clear concepts of the context in which he or she uses these euphemisms. The most practical use of euphemism is observed in the field of politics. Recently the political analysts coined the term “Blairism”.