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BS: The Perfect Euphemism

TheBigPinkLad 05 Apr 04 - 04:26 PM
Amos 05 Apr 04 - 04:28 PM
Don Firth 05 Apr 04 - 04:58 PM
wysiwyg 05 Apr 04 - 05:17 PM
Rapparee 05 Apr 04 - 06:05 PM
Midchuck 05 Apr 04 - 06:33 PM
Stephen L. Rich 05 Apr 04 - 07:30 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Apr 04 - 07:41 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Apr 04 - 08:09 PM
Bill D 05 Apr 04 - 08:39 PM
Rapparee 05 Apr 04 - 08:44 PM
mack/misophist 05 Apr 04 - 10:01 PM
Stephen L. Rich 05 Apr 04 - 11:47 PM
Jim Dixon 06 Apr 04 - 01:49 AM
Kaleea 06 Apr 04 - 02:07 AM
weerover 06 Apr 04 - 02:35 AM
George Papavgeris 06 Apr 04 - 03:17 AM
Ellenpoly 06 Apr 04 - 04:07 AM
s&r 06 Apr 04 - 04:27 AM
Dave Hanson 06 Apr 04 - 05:09 AM
Rapparee 06 Apr 04 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,LB 06 Apr 04 - 11:36 AM
Ebbie 06 Apr 04 - 12:12 PM
Rapparee 06 Apr 04 - 12:50 PM
Amos 06 Apr 04 - 12:56 PM
John MacKenzie 06 Apr 04 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,petr 06 Apr 04 - 04:52 PM
Rapparee 07 Apr 04 - 03:31 PM
Little Hawk 07 Apr 04 - 05:43 PM
Bill D 07 Apr 04 - 07:11 PM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Apr 04 - 10:22 PM
Little Hawk 07 Apr 04 - 10:36 PM
dianavan 08 Apr 04 - 12:09 AM
Rapparee 08 Apr 04 - 09:18 AM
Rapparee 08 Apr 04 - 09:31 AM
Little Hawk 09 Apr 04 - 12:12 AM
Rapparee 09 Apr 04 - 12:05 PM
Amos 09 Apr 04 - 12:12 PM
Little Hawk 09 Apr 04 - 12:31 PM
steve in ottawa 10 Apr 04 - 12:51 AM
Amos 10 Apr 04 - 12:53 AM
GUEST 10 Apr 04 - 11:23 PM
George Papavgeris 11 Apr 04 - 02:49 AM
Rapparee 11 Apr 04 - 10:14 AM
steve in ottawa 14 Apr 04 - 05:08 PM

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Subject: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 04:26 PM

We have an outbreak of avian flu in the chicken population near Vancouver, BC, and the agriculture minister has ordered the killing of hundreds of thousands of birds. This just came in from the radio--is it the perfect euphemism?

Agriculture Minister announces complete depopulation of commercial poultry - CKNW - 11:00am April 5, 2004


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Amos
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 04:28 PM

Oh, I say -- can't we depopulate a few commercial euphemizers as well??

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 04:58 PM

Euthanize the euphemizers? I'll drink to that!

Considering such gems as "friendly fire" and "collateral damage," not to mention "compassionate conservatism," can we start with the government?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 05:17 PM

Euphemize the depopulators!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 06:05 PM

I'm reminded of a Bill Mauldin cartoon. Willie and Joe are standing by the war-ruined house of an Italian farmer, and Joe says, "What's he complainin' about? We've pruned his trees, plowed his fields, and air conditioned his house."


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Midchuck
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 06:33 PM

I think "ethnic cleansing" takes it about as far as possible.

P.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 07:30 PM

Actually, the perfect euphemism is the word "euphemism" itself. It means "lies".

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 07:41 PM

The perfect Euphonium? Who makes that then..?

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 08:09 PM

Midchuck: So what term would you prefer to use instead of "ethnic cleansing"?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 08:39 PM

"So what term would you prefer to use instead of "ethnic cleansing"?"

Genocide and "crimes against humanity" come to mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 08:44 PM

Massacre. Mass murder.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: mack/misophist
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 10:01 PM

It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that I announce the fact that Stephen L Rich is... incorrect. The word 'euphemism comes from the Greek religion. It refers to the replacement of 'inauspicious' words in ceremonies with more auspicious ones. Of equivalent meaning, I assume.

You can see it here.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 11:47 PM

I was refering to the manner in which euphemisms are used. In practical terms euphemisms are lies, the etymology not withstanding.

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 01:49 AM

Certainly if "ethnic cleansing" is used to mean "genocide" it is a euphemism. But I don't think that's what the term was invented for.

I believe "ethnic cleansing" properly means the forced removal of an ethnic group from a geographic area. By that standard, what the US did to Japanese-Americans from the west-coast states during WW2 was ethnic cleansing. But it certainly wasn't genocide, because no one was killed (that I know of).

I suppose you could call that "forced removal" but that term leaves out the fact that a certain ethnic group is being targeted.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Kaleea
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 02:07 AM

Why is it that sometimes the powers that be won't spend the $$ to test & find out if certain populations are indeed infected, but see fit to take the easy road of killing entire populations, aka: restort to "neutralizing", "depopulating," "ridding the world of _____"(choose your fav nasty ethnic slur), "doing the planet a favor," "making the world a safer place," "saving us from them," etc. & etc. Many of my ancestors lost their lives due to such depopulating as well as forced removal.

Dave the Gnome--I played the Baritone Horn in college marching band, then was handed an Euphonium at the college where I transferred to, but I didn't like it. I liked the old Baritone better! But as a Voice major, I sang a kinda wierd & fun song cycle about a Euphonium dancing & such. maybe if the politicians were busy with Music, they wouldn't be so quick to depopulize animals &/or humans.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: weerover
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 02:35 AM

The term for a word deliberately used to conceal an evasion or untruth is "paranym".

wr.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 03:17 AM

Almost correct, Misophist, not quite: It's nothing to do with religion, and it literally means "to speak well of". It refers to the practice of choosing more palatable/acceptable words to describe something awful. In ancient Greece, they used to say that someone has "gone to the red tower" to indicate that he/she died. That's a euphemism. So is "kicked the bucket", "gone to meet his/her maker" etc. More contemporary euphemisms in every day language include "brown nosing", "vertically challenged" etc.

By its nature, a euphemism lends itself to jokes and can also become a mildly derogatory term depending on context ("financially challenged", "a card short of the full pack").

These days, political correctness has increased the requirement for euphemisms, as "we" cannot face up to certain truths as "too harsh". I think we have the makings of a new profession here - the Euphemist.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 04:07 AM

For me, it all began with "1984" and the Ministry of Disinformation's "doublespeak".

Of all the more recent wretched euphemisms, the worst for me will always be "Friendly Fire".


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: s&r
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 04:27 AM

I always liked W S Churchill's "terminological inexactitude"

stu


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 05:09 AM

Perfect euphonium ? is'nt that an oxymoron, like ' subtle banjo '
eric


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 09:34 AM

"Polite accordion"?

"Classical bodhran"?

"Harmonic bagpipes"?

William Lutz wrote "Doublespeak: from "revenue enhancement" to "terminal living"" (Harper and Row, 1989). 'Tain't anything new.

Some examples: terminal living = death; aerodynamic personnel decelerator = parachute; memebers of a career-offender cartel = Mafia; previously distinguished car = used car; television with nonmulticolor capability = black & white TV; negative patient care outcome = death; and one of my personnel favorites: energetic disassembly (explosion in a nuclear power plant).

But we use euphemisms all the time: passed over, negative reviews, sexually assaulted, persons of color (whatever happened to the word "people", anyway?), human resources, enhanced anything. Why not died, bad reviews, African-Americans (Japanese-Americans, etc.) (And why bother with it at all? We're all human, aren't we?), people, better anything? Just as I can mictruate, I can also make water or urinate or spend a penny or shake the dew off the lily or go to the bathroom or visit with my old friend John or...insert whatever "vulgarity" you'd like.

I've always disliked "liquidate" and "terminate with extreme prejudice".


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: GUEST,LB
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 11:36 AM

How about "OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM?"


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 12:12 PM

Jim Dixon, (1:49), I was startled to learn that Canada too removed and incarcerated its Japanese population from the west coast during WWII.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 12:50 PM

The United States also forcibly removed the Aleut people from the Aleutian Islands during WW2.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Amos
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 12:56 PM

Actually, "Friendly Fire" is not a euphemism. It means fire from those to whom you are friendly. It assumes the use of the word "Friendly" as a noun which is iteself a slang usage from military circles (e.g., "Don't shoot those planes! They're friendlies.") Thus when your own side's artillery lands on you you are emulsified and vaporized by friendly fire.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 01:11 PM

Ladies front bottom. Now there's a euphemism not to be sniffed at!
John


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 04:52 PM

other oxymorons, fresh frozen, military intelligence.

I hate to say it is like orwells 1984, with double speak,
(patriot act), Iraqi Freedom, or friendly states becoming enemy states and vice versa.

as far as the chickens go, Id sayits too bad for the industry and the producers, not to mention the chickens, but one wonders whether this problem would exist if the chickens werent raised in factory farms, where theyre kept in low light conditions, their beaks are clipped, drinking water from a dropper all in the name of the almighty buck.
and the organic farmers who raise chickens in the vicinity have to slaughter their stock as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Rapparee
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 03:31 PM

I found it. The perfect euphemism. It scintillated, sparkled in its obfuscation. It was indeed perfect, for from its depths not wavicle, not the smallest bit, of illumination could escape. It was the Black Hole of Knowledge in both fact and deed, with no Blue Event Horizon to disturb its perfection.

I was going to startle you with it, but I've forgotten what it was. Something from a government, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 05:43 PM

Collateral Damage
Pre-emptive Strike
Iraqui Liberation
Democratization
Strategic Withdrawal
Credibility Gap
Kinder and Gentler
Trickle-Down Economics
Life Insurance
Tactical Nuclear Weapon

It goes on and on...most of it is about conquest, lies, and money.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 07:11 PM

a lot of those are getting away from true euphemisms and into just oxymorons, which is a fascinating category in itself.

I like the euphemism which used to be on the wall of the toilets at a park where we hold our annual folk festival...no, not "restrooms" which is euphemistic enough...but "comfort station".....


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 10:22 PM

Little Hawk listed a number of what he considered euphemisms, but several I'd like to address:

Collateral Damage
***
Trickle-Down Economics
Life Insurance
Tactical Nuclear Weapon

Each of these is a fairly straightforward reference to a thing or situation, with no equivalent which is being avoided, as I see it.

Collateral damage is damage to buildings or other surrounding structures incurred as a result of a military action. I can think of no easier or more direct way of expressing it.

Trickle-down economics is actually a satyrical expression which makes fun of a given economic concept. It's not avoiding the issue at all.

Life insurance is very straightforward. Just like car insurance, house insurance, and health insurance.   No euphemism in any of those.

Tactical nuclear weapon. Just plain descriptive of its intended use.   It's not intended to "go behind the lines", so to speak, and damage the enemy's logistics or economy. It's for tactical battlefield use. It's no different in concept than a conventional bomb used on the battlefield. No euphemism.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Apr 04 - 10:36 PM

Okay, here's my view on that, Uncle DaveO.

The people who are in favour of trickle-down economics do not see it as a satirical expression. They passionately believe in it. We had a provincial government in Ontario for 8 years that believed in it, and they created a whole lot of trouble for Ontario in that 8 years.

Life insurance is death insurance. They don't call it that, cos it would really bother people.

The implication behind "tactical nuclear weapon" is that, well, it's a sort of "little" atomic bomb. A kinder, gentler atomic bomb that doesn't atomize a whole city. This is misleading.

Collateral damage is a supposedly inoffensive way of saying, "We just blew a bunch of noncombatant civilians to hell. Gee, too bad."

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: dianavan
Date: 08 Apr 04 - 12:09 AM

BigPinkLad - Be careful how you word your thread. Look what happens on mudcat. I like the phrase, punctually challenged, myself.

Back to the chickens.

I am shocked that such drastic measures are being taken. The rest of you should pay attention, here, because they are talking about a pandemic! It does, however, seem like a knee jerk reaction. They are not even sure if it will work to exterminate the poultry. What are they going to do about the wild birds?

I am especially curious about this topic because of the association between chickens and the flu vaccine. I had a flu shot that backfired. My scalp broke out in red, swollen, itchy, oozing sores. No lie. It was disgusting (thank God it gone). It took over a year to find out it was caused by a newly formed egg allergy. It seems that the vaccine was grown in an egg medium. My body rejected eggs the same way it would reject the flu virus. The vaccine has worn off and I can eat eggs again but only in small amounts.

Of course, I see an immediate connection between vaccines grown in eggs and the new strain of avian flu. Maybe they should be a little more careful about their vaccines and realize that these viruses have a nasty way of skipping across species. I can't believe they expect to contain this virus by killing the living. Quarantine would probably be far more effective. Why not let it run its course the way we do with the flu? Contain it, yes. Eradicate it - I doubt it!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Apr 04 - 09:18 AM

No, LH, tactical nukes are intended to be used certain battlefield situations -- say, for instance, that a whole bunch of bad guys are on top of a mountain that you want to take, and you have to take it fast to maintain the momentum of the attack. Just throwing people against it will slow the attack, and bombing it conventionally will take forever AND destroy the shock of surprise. So you nuke it and either capture it with the PBI while the defenders are still wandering around wondering what happened or write it off 'cause it's now a heap of hot slag (several meanings of "hot").

As for collateral damage -- civilians have always died in war. Rocks, metal, gases, blast, fire don't care if they affect soldiers or civilians. You drop a bomb or fire a shell or a rifle, someone or something is going to catch the result -- could be good ol' Mamma Earth, could be an inoffensive tree, could be a bad guy, could be a child playing in their room.

Ronny Reagan was a staunch advocate of "trickle-down economics" and he and his CERTAINLY did not use it satirically. See where it's brought us?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Apr 04 - 09:31 AM

Oh, yeah -- I should mention that nuclear weapons, whether of the fusion or the fission variety, regardless of the yield, are NOT euphemisms. If the heat and blast don't getcha the overpressure and radiation will!

Nasty things, nukes.

I know too damned about them....


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Apr 04 - 12:12 AM

Dianavan - In this life I frankly have known more people who got sick from vaccines than who got sick from the things the vaccines were supposed to protect them against! I have never had a flu shot, and I don't seem to get the flu. Hmmmmm...

My mother got several inoculations prior to a trip to Pakistan, and she got quite sick from them. She didn't get any sicker due to anything she was exposed to later in Pakistan. The inoculations resulted in my mother's general level of health being badly compromised for the last 25 years, in that she suddenly acquired some very nasty, potentially fatal allergic reactions to things she'd never been allergic to before those vaccinations.

Guess what caused that? A compromised immune system, that's what, due to poisoning by vaccination.

People are absolutely polarized one way or the other on this subject, so I have probably pushed some really tender buttons here. Okay. That's the way it goes...

If you (speaking to people in general, not to Dianavan) want dead disease germs and other putrescent stuff like that put directly into your bloodstream, go right ahead. I am not going to stop you.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Apr 04 - 12:05 PM

Sorry, LH, I disagree about vaccination and immunizations. But I'll not go into my arguments here -- as you say, people are polarized and I'm not up to fighting about it.

I will say that I think that we as a society put too much emphasis on killing "germs". Most of them are quite harmless, even beneficial. Even E. Coli usually does no harm -- it's almost certainly in your gut right now. To stop a kid from playing in the dirt because of germs, to kill all the germs on a surface -- that's really compromising the immune system by preventing kids from building up resistance, and eventually a "germ" that otherwise is extremely minor or harmless will kill. We've moved from the reasonable to the paranoid, and much of the move can be laid to the media and advertising.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Amos
Date: 09 Apr 04 - 12:12 PM

What we really need is tactical economics and trickle down nukes.

I am all for strengthening immune systems rather than obsessing about germs. I once got blindsided by pneumonia, but aside from that I tend not to get colds and flues and to bounce back rapidly when I do get them.

In general I try to minimize the opportunity for iatrogenic illnesses and accidents; but I gotta tell you, having an emergency room equipp3ed with the right antibiotic pulled my ass out of a bad crack when I had ignored the pneumonia a slong as I could and was psitting up blood. So there is something to be said for sound medical practrice, I guess. :>)

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Apr 04 - 12:31 PM

Yup. You gotta call each shot as you see it, on your own best judgement. I agree with you, Rap, that this society is germ-obsessed to an unhealthy extent, and that is driven by advertising in order to sell thousands and thousands of pharmaceutical and cleaning products (many of which in themselves are toxic, harmful, and unnecessary).

The best defences of good health are: a good diet, fresh water, fresh air, and exercise. Most of us (including me) could use some improvement in all those areas, but our minds are usually on something else (like typing on Mudcat...grin).

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 12:51 AM

Can't stop myself:
Vacinations are good for the population, not necessarily good for any particular individual. If the incidence of disease is low enough in a population, it's an advantage NOT to be vacinated...and that's why, just like taxes, a certain percentage of available vacinations ought to be mandatory (so we all share the risk).

More on topic, from: Ode to 4-Letter Words, I always liked:

You may speak of a movement, or sit on a seat,
Have a passage, or stool, or simply excrete;
Or say to the others, "I'm going out back,"
Then groan in pure joy in that smelly old shack.
You can go lay a cable, or do number two,
Or sit on the toidy and make a do-do,
But ladies and men who are socially fit
Under no provocation will go take a ****!

In our family, at the cottage, we said we were "going up north" (the direction of the woods, and the outhouses).


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Amos
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 12:53 AM

I like that, steve!! Goin' up noath! Yowzah!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 04 - 11:23 PM

"temporarily disoriented" for "lost".


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 02:49 AM

"Slip into something more comfortable/cooler". "Slip out of", more like.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Apr 04 - 10:14 AM

Well, hell, if you aren't comfortable in your skin....


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Subject: RE: BS: The Perfect Euphemism
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 05:08 PM

Thank you Amos, it occurred to me later. As kids, the first ten or twenty times we heard Johnny Horton's "North to Alaska" we fell over each other laughing:

Way up north! North! to Alaska, we're going north, the rush is on!


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