Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics

‘Euphemism’ as euphemism


Journalist Yoni Applebaum of The Atlantic describes asking delegates at the Republican Convention whether they really wanted a victorious President Trump to “lock up” his opponent. Some gave variants of “hell yes!” One, slightly abashed, said

the chant was “a euphemism for ‘hold her accountable,’” and was frustrated that the media insisted on taking it literally. 

Of course, this is the opposite of a “euphemism”, which is a polite form of words for something unpleasant. In the brave new world of Trump, “euphemism” is a euphemism for “vile and threatening exaggeration”.

It has become common for left-leaning Americans to joke about “moving to Canada” if the hated Republican wins the next presidential election. This time, in case of a Trump victory, I fear the first one across the border will need to be Hillary Clinton herself.

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