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Euphemism is the art of avoiding giving offence. It is possible to minimize the obvious by calling someone cuddly or junoesque when they are actually fat; to disguise the actual truth, extermination becomes the less unpleasant ethnic-cleansing; and large-scale redundancies become restructuring. John Ayto's wide-ranging study shows how the apparently laudable aim of avoiding offence can be used often disturbingly for political, economic, business or propaganda purposes. Using both general commentary and dictionary-style entries, Ayto covers specific meanings and usages, as well as general contexts. Spotlighting euphemisms from this and earlier centuries, Ayto explains the huge range of euphemisms used through the ages, and argues that today is indeed the "euphemistic society". John Ayto is the author of the "Longman Register of New Words", the "Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang" and the "Bloomsbury Dictionary of Word Origins".
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 498.95g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • index
  • 0747512949
  • 9780747512943