Thursday, August 3, 2017

Euphemisms Suck

SO MANY PROBLEMS could be eradicated if people stopped speaking in euphemisms and started speaking the truth. Euphemisms serve no purpose other than to make bad things sound nicer. And when bad things sound nicer, they are apt to continue because after all, they're not really so bad. Like saying "every woman has the right to choose what happens to her own body" is so much nicer than saying "every woman has the right to kill the new human being growing inside her," despite the fact that it's the only way we get any new human beings. Ditto saying Planned Parenthood is devoted to women's health, unless health is defined as the absence of a baby in a uterus.

Case in point: I just heard TV reporter Andrea Mitchell call Trump's new communications director Gen. John Kelly a "great guy and a true patriot. " She gave as the leading example of his patriotic great-guyness the fact that "he sacrificed a son in Afghanistan." Really? He sacrificed his own son? How? Did he have him burned at the stake, or beheaded, or what, exactly? Turns out that back in 2010, Kelly's 29-year-old son, First Lieutenant Robert Kelly, was killed in action when he stepped on a landmine while on a patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan.

So seven years ago, Kelly's son was killed in a war. I'm guessing here, but I'm pretty sure that Kelly Sr. had nothing to do with it. Certainly he did not plant the landmine and direct his son to walk over it. So how did his son's accidental and awful and gruesome death turn into General Kelly's sacrifice? (I gotta say, I have a 29-year-old son myself, and if he told me he wanted to join the military in wartime I would try to talk him out of it. If he joined anyway and went to war, I would sacrifice myself immediately by jumping off a tall building.)

A popular euphemism cost the Democrats the last election and served up President Trump on a platter when they insisted on describing Hillary Clinton as "unlikeable" instead of "unelectable, hated, despised by everyone including her own husband and most Democrats, she can't possibly win, a drunken toad could beat her." If someone in charge had found the courage to say the truth, they would have never let her run. 

Who knows, they might have come up with a decent Democrat and things might be a whole lot better today. (Just like my Daisy and Gizmo and Rufus would all be awake, if only we hadn't put them to sleep.)

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