July 11, 2013
I was reading this excellent piece on the Republican position on Latinos and immigration, and how that affects their electoral strategy when I came across this sentence:
“Every election cycle, more of them will become eligible to vote, while the oldest, whitest and most Republican generations age out of the electorate on the other end. (‘Age out of the electorate’ is a euphemism for ‘die.’)”
It got me thinking about my favorite news, public policy, and academic euphemisms, those little phrases that reporters and academics use when they want to say something (often something crass or disturbing) but need to maintain a modicum of dignity.
One of my (morbid) favorites is “placed himself deliberately on the tracks,” used by WMATA and the Washington Post whenever a person commits suicide by jumping in front of a subway train (almost always on the Red Line, almost always shortly before rush hour). I think the reason I find this one (morbidly) amusing is that while it is a much more verbose way of saying something that is a little unseemly, it doesn’t leave nearly as much to the imagination as NBC News reporter Benjy Sarlin’s gem above.
What are your favorite news euphemisms?