Monday, November 02, 2009

Euphemism treadmill

Euphemism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"Euphemism treadmill

Euphemisms often evolve over time into taboo words themselves, through a process described by W.V.O. Quine,[citation needed] and more recently dubbed the 'euphemism treadmill' by Steven Pinker. (cf. Gresham's Law in economics). This is the well-known linguistic process known as 'pejoration' or 'semantic change'.

Words originally intended as euphemisms may lose their euphemistic value, acquiring the negative connotations of their referents. In some cases, they may be used mockingly and become dysphemisms."


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