Let’s Call A Spade A Spade

1 December 2008

My family comes from Yorkshire which is a County in England known for its blunt speaking.  They call a spade a spade (unless of course it’s a bl**dy shovel).  That may be why I particularly dislike euphemisms, 

I was reminded of this when reading so many stories lately of children being bullied at school, some to the point where they’ve committed suicide.  But when you read the details, they tell a different story.   Being waylaid on your way home and beaten up by groups of older boys is NOT bullying.  Calling it bullying implies that this is childlike behaviour, unacceptable of course and sometimes very disturbing, but it’s used as a form of control over another child.  Beating the shit out of a child is at the very least assault.

Then we have “execution” as in “the terrorist executed one of the hostages”.  No – he murdered him.

And passed away/passed on/passed over.  What’s wrong with “died”?  

The American Government has come up with a whole new load of euphemisms which are quite breathtaking in their audacity, the worst probably being “rendition”.  This apparently means to forcibly remove people from one country, take them to another country outside the jurisdiction of the American legal system and torture them.  But I suppose they couldn’t say that, could they?




  1. For me it always sounds like this definition:
    1 [M] SPECIALIZED to melt fat in order to make it purer

    2 to prepare or treat the bodies of dead animals in order to take out the fat and other substances that can be used in other products:
    to render down animal carcasses

    Disgusts me.

    And I am also with you on ‘died’ being quite a good word – always surprises me when I hear people I know using the euphemisms instead.

  2. A lot of people are made really uncomfortable by the word ‘died’. I’ve been asked by someone I whom I’ve known for years and whom I see quite a lot not to refer to my late partner’s death; he prefers it if I say her ‘passing’. Needless to say I always forget to do this. He winces every time.

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