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Euphemism & Dysphemism: Language Used As Shield And Weapon
We all use euphemisms. We ask for directions to the "ladies room" or convey the news that someone has recently "passed away." In fact, euphemisms have existed throughout recorded history: they are used by preliterate peoples, and have probably been around since human language first developed. And the same is true of offensive language, or "dysphemisms"--words used as weapo ...more
Published June 6th 1991 by Oxford University Press, USA
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If the title Euphemism and Dysphemism hasn't already put you to sleep, then just read these hilarious chapter titles: "Anal and Bowel Problems in the Middle Ages." "The Lexicon of Urination and Defecation." It kind of makes you want to study linguistics, doesn't it? My favorite sub-chapter title was almost "Why is the Vagina Called a Pussy?" but the winner had to be "Digression: A Short History of Cunt, of Queynte, and of Quim." An honorable mention goes to "Penis as Ferret, Weasel, or Rat." If ...more