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Quotes About Euphemism

Quotes tagged as "euphemism" (showing 1-26 of 26)
J.R. Ward
“You are a manipulator.
I like to think of myself more as an outcome engineer.”
J.R. Ward, Lover Eternal

Becca Fitzpatrick
“You're a psychopath."
"I prefer creative.”
Becca Fitzpatrick, Crescendo

Gerard Way
“I'm not psycho...I just like psychotic things.”
Gerard Way

George Carlin
“How is it possible to have a civil war?”
George Carlin

Jasper Fforde
“Don't ever call me mad, Mycroft. I'm not mad. I'm just ... well, differently moraled, that's all.”
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair

Terry Pratchett
“You're not allowed to call them dinosaurs any more," said Yo-less. "It's speciesist. You have to call them pre-petroleum persons.”
Terry Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb

Dylan Thomas
“The only sea I saw Was the seesaw sea With you riding on it. Lie down, lie easy. Let me shipwreck in your thighs.”
Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood

William Shakespeare
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Jordan Sonnenblick
“It's amazing--my parents call everything a discussion. If I were standing across the street, firing a bazooka at my mother, while my father was launching mortar back at me, and Jeffery was charging down the driveway with a grenade in his teeth, my parents would say we should stop having this public "discussion".”
Jordan Sonnenblick, Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie

Chelsea Handler
“I don't like the word 'alcoholic'. I like to think of myself as an advanced drinker.”
Chelsea Handler, My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands

Eliezer Yudkowsky
“World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation.”
Eliezer Yudkowsky, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

John Green
“It hurt, and that is not a euphemism. It hurt like a beating.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

Jennifer Lynn Barnes
“I sense that the chocolate chips have hit the fan.”
Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Every Other Day

Noam Chomsky
“Well, I'm not sure the New York Times was consciously trying to trivialise me, but the effect of it is to put everything in the same category as the gossip you read in the magazines you pick up at supermarket counters. I was asked, for example, why I thought there were so many euphemisms for genitalia. It's not a serious question. Whatever the purpose of such a tone is, the effect is to make it appear that anyone who departs from orthodox political doctrine is in some ways laughable.”
Noam Chomsky

Matthew Scully
“When we shrink from the sight of something, when we shroud it in euphemism, that is usually a sign of inner conflict, of unsettled hearts, a sign that something has gone wrong in our moral reasoning.”
Matthew Scully, Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy

Dejan Stojanovic
“Nature is an outcry, unpolished truth; the art—a euphemism—tamed wilderness.”
Dejan Stojanovic

Winston S. Churchill
“Perhaps we have been guilty of some terminological inexactitudes.”
Winston S. Churchill

Steve Allen
“When my mother passed away several years ago—well, wait a minute. Actually, she didn’t ‘pass away.’ She died. Something about that verb, ‘to pass away’ always sounds to me as if someone just drifted through the wallpaper. No, my mother did not pass away. She definitely died.”
Steve Allen, How to Be Funny

Christopher Hitchens
“Edward had a personal horror of violence and never endorsed or excused it, though in a documentary he made about the conflict he said that actions like the bombing of pilgrims at Tel Aviv airport 'did more harm than good,' which I remember thinking was (a) euphemistic and (b) a slipshod expression unworthy of a professor of English.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

“Then, as on the night before, we lay down together and I proved how great our friendship had become.”
Henry M. Christman, Gay Tales and Verses from the Arabian Nights

Patrick Cockburn
“Users of clichés frequently have more sinister intentions beyond laziness and conventional thinking. Relabelling events often entails subtle changes of meaning. War produces many euphemisms, downplaying or giving verbal respectability to savagery and slaughter.”
Patrick Cockburn

Christopher Hitchens
“Many things in this period have been hard to bear, or hard to take seriously. My own profession went into a protracted swoon during the Reagan-Bush-Thatcher decade, and shows scant sign of recovering a critical faculty—or indeed any faculty whatever, unless it is one of induced enthusiasm for a plausible consensus President. (We shall see whether it counts as progress for the same parrots to learn a new word.) And my own cohort, the left, shared in the general dispiriting move towards apolitical, atonal postmodernism. Regarding something magnificent, like the long-overdue and still endangered South African revolution (a jagged fit in the supposedly smooth pattern of axiomatic progress), one could see that Ariadne’s thread had a robust reddish tinge, and that potential citizens had not all deconstructed themselves into Xhosa, Zulu, Cape Coloured or ‘Eurocentric’; had in other words resisted the sectarian lesson that the masters of apartheid tried to teach them. Elsewhere, though, it seemed all at once as if competitive solipsism was the signifier of the ‘radical’; a stress on the salience not even of the individual, but of the trait, and from that atomization into the lump of the category. Surely one thing to be learned from the lapsed totalitarian system was the unwholesome relationship between the cult of the masses and the adoration of the supreme personality. Yet introspective voyaging seemed to coexist with dull group-think wherever one peered about among the formerly ‘committed’.

Traditionally then, or tediously as some will think, I saw no reason to discard the Orwellian standard in considering modern literature. While a sort of etiolation, tricked out as playfulness, had its way among the non-judgemental, much good work was still done by those who weighed words as if they meant what they said. Some authors, indeed, stood by their works as if they had composed them in solitude and out of conviction. Of these, an encouraging number spoke for the ironic against the literal mind; for the generously interpreted interest of all against the renewal of what Orwell termed the ‘smelly little orthodoxies’—tribe and Faith, monotheist and polytheist, being most conspicuous among these new/old disfigurements. In the course of making a film about the decaffeinated hedonism of modern Los Angeles, I visited the house where Thomas Mann, in another time of torment, wrote Dr Faustus. My German friends were filling the streets of Munich and Berlin to combat the recrudescence of the same old shit as I read:

This old, folkish layer survives in us all, and to speak as I really think, I do. not consider religion the most adequate means of keeping it under lock and key. For that, literature alone avails, humanistic science, the ideal of the free and beautiful human being. [italics mine]


The path to this concept of enlightenment is not to be found in the pursuit of self-pity, or of self-love. Of course to be merely a political animal is to miss Mann’s point; while, as ever, to be an apolitical animal is to leave fellow-citizens at the mercy of Ideolo’. For the sake of argument, then, one must never let a euphemism or a false consolation pass uncontested. The truth seldom lies, but when it does lie it lies somewhere in between.”
Christopher Hitchens, For the Sake of Argument: Essays and Minority Reports

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“He who was given the freedom to ask whatever should give the freedom to be answered however.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana, N for Nigger

Kathy Shaidle
“Progressives' don’t just redefine (and valorize) deviancy; they insist on renaming it, too.”
Kathy Shaidle

G.M. Malliet
“A lot of nonsense is spoken at funerals, especially when the deceased had not been well liked in life. Many euphemisms are called into play: "vital," "energetic," and (repetitively) "full of life.”
G.M. Malliet

Christopher Hitchens
“As he once wrote of Kipling, his own enduring influence can be measured by a number of terms and phrases—doublethink, thought police, 'Some animals are more equal than others'—that he embedded in our language and in our minds. In Orwell's own mind there was an inextricable connection between language and truth, a conviction that by using plain and unambiguous words one could forbid oneself the comfort of certain falsehoods and delusions. Every time you hear a piece of psychobabble or propaganda—'people's princess,' say, or 'collateral damage,' or 'peace initiative'—it is good to have a well-thumbed collection of his essays nearby. His main enemy in discourse was euphemism, just as his main enemy in practice was the abuse of power, and (more important) the slavish willingness of people to submit to it.”
Christopher Hitchens

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