Essay on Most Important Role Of Euphemisms In Modern Society

Modern Use of Euphemisms Code switching, lying, and slang play important roles in how people interact with one another. As society moves into a more technological age, the way humans interact with each other changes drastically. The most important areas in which code changing plays its role would appear in how people, particularly teenagers, interact with parents, friends, and teachers. As they “are milder or less abrasive form of a negative description instead of its original, unsympathetic form” (literarydevices. om), euphemisms have become the most dominant and popular form of code switching.

Euphemisms, a form of code switching, play the most important role in how people interact with other people; they acts as the base of all social interactions and should not have a negative label. Playing an important role all throughout society, euphemisms commonly appear while interacting with 3 certain types of people; teenagers, advertisers, and people explaining their job titles. These people learn to perfect the skill and use it to interact with others in a very specific way.

When a child begins the transition into their early teen years begins the period in which a person learns and masters the skill of code switching occurs during his or her teenage years because he or she has the constant need to change the code he or she uses. To set up an example: when teenagers have a plan to attend a gathering of teens they will talk to their friends about what the plans for the gathering in descriptive details but when he tells his parents the plans for the night he will leave out or avoid factors such as hether or not parents stay at the house or whether or not people have plans to consume alcoholic beverages while underage.

After the party ends parents may ask “how was the party” and the teenager will typically answer with a short, one word answer, also known as a dysphemism, such as “fine” or “uneventful. ” In a circumstance in which a teenager discusses the party with a friend he will provide a great amount of detail to portray the party as this incredibly active gathering of teens.

A similar situation occurs in the media while interviewing eyewitnesses of a major event. In Method and Objects for Inquiry, a short insight on how the media chooses who its will interview, written by Sandra Silberstein, the 9/11 attacks become the main focus of the story. Roth, the reporter, finds a woman named Colleen who gives an action packed story, including a dramatic scene in which “a woman [is] on the ground with her baby, people were stampeding the baby” (Silberstein), that covers the majority of what she experience, like a teenager talking to a close friend.

However when an interviewer asked an ethnic janitor for the World Trade Center about his experience, he cut it short due to the lack of detail. Mr. Gonzalez, the janitor, gives very little detail in the summary he gives of his experience during the 9/11 attacks: “well, there was a, there was a big time, like a gap. It… was a gap of time” (Silberstein). Gonzalez’s interview gives the perfect example of a teenager trying to think before he or she tells their parents the full truth to remove parents that would result in punishment.

Another very typical situation in which teenagers use euphemisms can appear in high school health courses; sex education specifically. Right off the bat teachers begin a sex education course by calling it “teaching the birds and the bees” or “teaching about reproduction” instead of simply saying “teaching you about sex. ” Talking about sex with teenagers involves euphemisms because “our embrace of saucy slang was designed to get around societal restrictions on dirty talk in the past” (bustle. om), such as sexual content within a classroom.

In this case, euphemisms benefit teenagers by making them feel more comfortable talking about an awkward topic and thereby allowing them to succeed easier. The group by the name of Bloodhound Gang wrote and performed the song “The Bad Touch,” which has over 170,000,000 views on YouTube, giving a perfect example of a euphemism for sex: “You and me baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals, so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel” (Bloodhound Gang).

This song showcases just one of thousands of different well known euphemisms teenagers use for sex. Advertisers use euphemisms to make their products sound more appealing. Airlines have created the very well know euphemism of economy class. People do not seem to notice the fact that first class holds the name first class because it reminds the buyers that they come first and receive the best service.

But why do airlines refer to second and third class as business class and economy class? Because who would want to be reminded that are getting the third and lowest tier service. Calling it “Economy” works to imply a clever frugality” (flyertalk). Anandi Ramamurthy, a senior lecturer in film and media, produced a short passage called Constructions of Illusions: Photography and Commodity Culture which discusses the depths of advertisements and how advertisements do not only sell the product itself, but ideas as well. Ramamurthy comes to the conclusion that an advertisement directly sells a product but indirectly sells an idea or a fake reality.

An advertisement may have a deeper influence on a consumer because “advertisers have traditionally been concerned with creating glamorous, fantasy worlds of desire” (Ramamurthy, 841). By calling second and third class business class and economy class it creates the vision that a buyer will not receive treated second or third compared to those in first class. Euphemisms can help make a normally undesirable product desirable by removing the relationship the product it has with an expensive, desirable product.

In a sense, people use euphemisms to advertise themselves while interacting with others to make themselves sound more important. Many examples of these euphemisms exist have become a frequently used method to describe one’s self. For example, while a person may call himself or herself a sanitation engineer to make themselves sound like they have an important and high paying job, another may call that same person a garbage man. A few more example of this use of euphemisms includes “a gastronomical hygienic engineer or dishwasher,” and “highway environmental hygienist or street cleaner” (Rickey).

People portray their non-exciting jobs as a high up executive job by creating ridiculous labels for themselves and most people will hear it and instantly think “this person sounds important. ” This method of making one’s self look important works due to the fact that most people hear large words and do not fully process the possibilities behind the longer words, but instead easily accept that the person works an important job. This tactic acts as an extremely helpful technique during job interviews when asked about prior jobs.

Hirers do not want to hire ex-garbage men but they will want to hire an ex-sanitation engineer. The use of euphemisms also plays the important role in society to make citizens feel safe living their everyday life. From the government attempting to make its citizens feel safe from possible terrorist threats or if a company uses euphemisms to ensure safety on a used product, euphemisms make society feel safer. Governments use euphemisms to make certain actions or situations less threatening or diminishing.

For example when discussing sending troops to a foreign country the government will rephrase this situation to “Overseas contingency operations” (ricochet. com) because the majority of the population does not understand what those words mean. But if a news station reported sending troops overseas as “troops go to fight to the death as war ensues” it would send the population into a panic and nationwide production would suffer. As political figures run for office and create new laws they will use special phrases such as “I am pro-choice” instead of “I am pro-abortion” because it simply sounds less violent.

Opposing parties will diminish the euphemism to take advantage of how violent “pro-abortion” sounds and use it to make an opponent look bad. Opponents will ensure they use positive phrases such as “against abortion” because in his case he wants to make his beliefs dramatic and while putting down the pro-choice opponent. Another extremely common use of euphemisms presents itself all throughout the country at used cars dealerships. Dealerships will mark a used car as “certified pre-owner.

As consumers hear the word “certified” it puts an assurance in his head that “this car has been inspected and certified for safe sale. In reality, the car came into the dealership; an employee researched its worth and put a price sticker on it. Everyday life presents many dangers that could possibly negatively affect an entire country but the government covers up these dangers by using euphemisms. Could this end up as a negative thing because the government lies about our safety?

No. If the government did not make society feel safe, jobs would not get finished because citizens would live in constant fear of an event that most likely will not happen. Some may claim that euphemisms play negative roles in how society interacts because it “enhances what they really mean or to avoid directly saying something nasty about a person, place or idea” (kidcourses), or because they come off as lies. A euphemism became a device used to avoid blunt, boring, or mean comments.

The dictionary definition of lying reads “to make a false statement with the intention to deceive” (Stanford), similar to “instead of its original [form)” (literarydevices) and, therefore, euphemisms cannot receive the label of a lie because they simply reword the truth, therefore stating it but in a different way. Euphemisms may leave out key details or sound fancier than that in which it describes, with the intention to deceive but they still produce the truth. Euphemisms may also cause a regular word to pick up a negative meaning due to the use of the word in euphemism for.

For example, the word passed has picked up a totally new meaning due to the euphemism “passed away. ” The word passed became associated with death after this euphemism became popular but giving certain words new meanings to create a less blunt statement helps society more than it hurts. Associating the word “passed” with death so people can say “I’m sorry your relative passed away” in order to avoid saying “I’m sorry your relative is dead now” justifies the ability to change a words meaning.

In conclusion, euphemisms play important roles in how society interacts because it gives people the opportunity to imply and not state. Although some may claim euphemisms and dysphemisms act as lies since they dance around the truth and avoid the whole truth they cannot receive the label of a lie due to the fact that they tell the truth, just in a different way. Euphemisms save people from awkward situations, confrontation, and telling the full truth and therefore should not have a negative label. They benefit society more than they hurt society.