Euphemisms and Government

Mark Anthony Howard

English 1A

Definition essay

Euphemisms and Government

An absolute definition can be an elusive ideal to capture, because it is subject to one’s own interpretation! A person can turn, flip, stretch, or construed the definition of anything, in order to justify an argument. The word definition means the action or the power of describing, explaining, or making definite and clear. Politicians and law officials have the power to define certain issues as an authority. The Authoritative power that some politicians have might be subject to some abuse based their interpretive definitions on the issues at hand. A politician can be an elusive master of construing definitions to support his or her own authoritative agendas. Through the passing of these agendas, the Government may sometimes hide the full truth behind euphemisms in order to manipulate the systematic society we live in.

Webster’s dictionary defines euphemism as the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasantEu- is a Greek term for ”well” or ”sounding good,” and pheme translates as ”speech,” therefore amounting to good-sounding speech. Euphemisms consist of two parts: the symbolic and the descriptors. The descriptor It provides the necessary link between the actual object described, and what it symbolizes. Euphemism are used to soften harsher more offensive rhetoric with more socially acceptable verbiage. Euphemisms can even be used to completely smoke or disguise its actual derive. euphemisms ability to soften the world’s hard edges also makes them attractive to people and institutions who have something to hide, who don’t want to say what they are thinking, and who wish to lie about what they are doing. The substitution of verbiage can be used to manipulate and persuade an audience. Politicians basis is to persuade voters towards an agenda; Euphemisms are great tools to use in that persuasion.

A Politician uses euphemisms to persuasively convey to his or her audience their political beliefs, and why they are important to that audience. These euphemisms are use to rally voters toward political cause for actions. Politicians and government use euphemism to heighten a sense of the voter’s obligation by manipulating certain definitions into moral, ethical, or conscience issues.  Politicians are often guilty of the term “double talk,” which is also a euphemism. Double talk is deliberately constructed to disguise or distort its actual meaning, often resulting in a communication bypass.

In times of war “double talk” and clever euphemisms are at their full. The best examples of government euphemisms have actually come in reference to the country at war.  George Orwell is a was an English novelist and journalist who was a pioneer in exposing social injustice and enlightening the public of the governments euphemistic policies. Orwell stated in a novel: “By telling a populace they are in a war, even a perpetual war, a government gets to enhance its’ power and repress its’ citizenry for the duration of the perpetual war.”

The Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act was a bill passed in 2010 who’s title content was an epitomizing example of government euphemisms.  According to the bill, if someone who was taken into military custody and suspected of being an “unprivileged enemy belligerent,” the President could exercise authority to detain that person in military custody without trial or criminal charges. The bill later clarifies the term for the detention as: “for the duration of hostilities against the United States.” In a “War on Terrorism” the public interprets these euphemisms as a simple capture and hold of enemies, but in actuality the bill grants authority for the president to jail anyone he may choose to warrant as an “unprivileged enemy belligerent.” The bill defines an “unprivileged enemy belligerent” is someone who the President determines to be a member of a group, who is hostile toward the United States. This euphemism is very similar to the Bush-era euphemism “enemy combatant.” During times of war, keeping track of the administration’s euphemisms is a big part of understanding the political reality.

The natural population of voters may not understand the euphemistic jargon that the government is practicing. It is not fair to mislead, misrepresent, or misinform, the public of the agendas in which they elect officials to lead, represent and inform them in!   This is where the government and their authoritative power may be objective in some abuse. Based on their interpretive definitions on the issues at hand, the government may be manipulating societal direction to: their euphemistic favoring, with euphemistic lobbies, for euphemistic bills. As George Orwell would state in his “Politics and the English Language,” the English language may be an instrument which we shape for our own purposes. The government may likely be abusing their authoritative power; by using euphemistic phrases to shape our society, for their own purposes!


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Posted on 04/18/2012, in College Writings, Mark Anthony Howard and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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