Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Oxymorons and Euphemisms

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Dear Friends:

Oxymorons and euphemisms are fascinating modes of either expressing conflictory comments, or of stating bad news or facts with minimum offense, the least emotional impact potential, or in a "silver lining" --- "But the Good News, is..." fashion. Both are great fun. Before we continue, let's be certain we know the difference:

"Civil War" is a frequently used oxymoron. "Civil Unrest" is a euphemism-tinged oxymoron. "Putting the dog to sleep" is a euphemism. "Ethnic Cleansing" is an incredibly audacious euphemism -- equating "cleansing" with "genocide" is quite a stretch.

"The People's Republic of China" is a euphemism-tinged oxymoron.

When somebody from the government or from BP (British Petroluem) speaks of the greatest ecological catastrophy in recorded history, and says, "The worst is over now. Most of the oil has evaporated or has been 'dispersed', and the waters around the Gulf are completely safe," he or she is simply a "moron." When BP takes out advertisements on television talking about, "...and BP will be here for you, and we won't leave until we make this right." --- well, that is an "insult to everyone's intelligence."


Douglas Castle

Tags, Labels and Key Terms: oxymorons, euphemisms, insults to the intelligence, lies, propaganda, morons, trends, creative communications, figures of speech, Articles by Douglas Castle, TNNWC Group, BP, oil spills

Douglas Castle
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