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Paul Sparks, Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for Semester 2 Reading Lessons...



Reading: Euphemisms

Lesson Objectives:
To understand how euphemisms are used when reading.

A euphemism is a word or phrase that substitutes for language the speaker or writer feels is too blunt or somehow offensive. When people die, we say, instead, that they have "passed away" or "met their maker" or "gone to sleep." And, at the silly extreme, a garbage collector is a sanitation engineer, a janitor is a custodial engineer. What the writer must guard against is the tendency of euphemisms not only to shield readers from harsh reality but also to not show meaning and truth. The military is especially guilty of this: bombing raids become surgical air-strikes and armies become peace-keeping forces.