It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
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
The treatment of John McAdams at Marquette University reveals the newest level of intolerance in the world of higher education.
On Wesleyan's latest bizarre initiative.
Our inability to speak freely makes it impossible to comprehend the dangerous realities we face.
April 29 2015
Edmund Burke Award Gala
The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"