Euphemisms are “expressions used in place of words or phrases that otherwise might be considered harsh or unpleasant” (Annan-Prah, 2015)
Euphemisms are believed to serve both those who produce them (speakers and writers) and those who receive them (listeners and readers). Linfoot-Ham (2005, p. 228) believes that euphemisms “protect the speaker/writer, hearer/reader, or all of the above.”
However, laboratory studies demonstrate that euphemisms are more likely to be produced in service of saving the producer’s face rather than the recipient’s face (McGlone & Batchelor, 2003).
The very words intended to sugar coat can be more distasteful than the words the euphemisms displace.
Euphemisms can also be ineffective.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association also prescribes against using euphemisms for disability because euphemisms cannot “hide disability, but they can produce confusion” (Folkins, 1992).
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