Terminological deception

1. In official reporting on incidents which could lead to embarrassing investigations, a form of terminological deception is used by employing euphemism to de-dramatize such events. For example in the UK, attempted prison suicides are recategorized by the use of the term "self-harm", which can then be described as "manipulative and self-seeking". Killing a live foetus may be described as a "termination", following the practice in reporting on government-sanctioned assassination. Destruction of a forested landscape can be usefully described as "clearing" the land.

2. In the USA, propaganda-talk, euphemism and evasion are so much a part of American usage that they cross all party lines and ideological divides. The loss of reality by euphemism and lies has been twenty times worse and more influential in the utterances of presidents Reagan and Bush and their aides than among bien-pensant academics.

3. In an attempt to shelter children from sexual understanding of their bodies, parents may substitute words such as "penis" and "vagina" with nonsensical expressions or euphemisms. Some belief such behaviour is patronizing and ultimately inhibits a child's social and personal growth. The use of euphemism often suggests an accompanying shame of that which has been "descriptively beautified". Consequently a child may develop undue shame about her sexuality, rendering her unable to comfortably discuss her sexuality as an adult.

(F) Fuzzy exceptional problems