We tend to read a lot of fiction here at the Brazen Broads Book Bash, so it’s always nice to get our hands on some good nonfiction books almost as a way to cleanse our palettes sometimes. Ralph Keyes book, Euphemania, is the perfect mix of informative yet interesting. In it, he shares the reasons why we use euphemisms so often in our daily speech.
The main idea behind the book is that euphemisms are used to make the uncomfortable more comfortable. Therefore, they’re very common in discussions about sex. One anecdote offered in the book refers to Jesse Jackson’s threat during the 2008 election in which he stated he wanted to “cut off Barack Obama’s nuts.” Keyes explains that the major news organizations struggled with how to report this, using euphemisms such as Jackson wanted to do something to his sensitive areas. (It escapes the Broads why they couldn’t just say Jackson wanted to castrate him.)
Euphemania is quite enjoyable to read and provides the answer to why some of the common phrases in our language have become so popular. Often humorous, it’s a fun read for anyone who appreciates the English language.