The New Criterion is probably more consistently worth reading than any other magazine in English.
Notes & Comments
On the well-chosen use of the word "youths" by Reuters.
was right!Support The
In Portrait of an Age, G. M. Youngs classic overview of early Victorian England, there are a few melancholy pages devoted to the devastating Irish potato famine of the mid-1840s. Young notes in an aside that Sir Robert Peel, the Prime Minister, followed polite opinion in referring to the disappointing tuber as That Root instead of calling it by its common name. [I]n all the prayers offered up for our Irish brethren, Young observes, potatoes were never mentioned.
Young describes this policy of politesse as characteristic of Early Victorian manners, and perhaps it was. It is also characteristic of a certain perennial timidity that refuses to call untoward realities by their correct names. Consider the opening of this story from Reuters about the latest rash of rioting in Copenhagen:
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 26 March 2008, on page 2
Copyright © 2015 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/euphemism-alert-3777
E-mail to friend
On the reaction to PEN's Freedom of Expression Courage Award announcement.
A special message to our supporters.
First Things turns twenty-five.
September 29 2015
Friends and Young Friends Event: Book Launch Party with Peter Pettus
October 02 2015
Friends and Young Friends Event: "The Corruption of our Political Institutions," a symposium
The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"