a potted history of euphemisms


Following the ‘fast unscheduled disassembly’ of SpaceX’s Starship rocket, Crikey appears on the nice political euphemisms of historical past.

A composite of SpaceX’s Starship launches from Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, and Elon Musk (Picture: AAP/AP/Eric Homosexual)

After Elon Musk’s non-public spaceflight firm SpaceX’s Starship rocket celebrated 4/20 by “blazing” itself into smoking ruins shortly after launch final week, the corporate reached for an attention-grabbing phrase. The method the rocket had undergone was not “exploding” however, apparently, “fast unscheduled disassembly” — apparently a typical sufficient saying in these circles, however one which obtained us pondering.

Anybody who’s usually known as on to justify catastrophic failures, be it within the company or political world, should do that — fall again on euphemism, or what George Orwell known as phrases meant to “title issues with out calling up psychological photos of them”. Listed below are just a few nice examples of euphemisms all through historical past.

‘Economical with the reality’ 

This can be a favorite of the British political class, with bizarre regularity, throughout politically charged authorized circumstances whereas underneath examination from high-profile Australian attorneys. Earlier than he was prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull made his title within the mid-Nineteen Eighties defending the Australian writer of Spycatcher, the memoirs of a former MI5 agent, in opposition to British authorities motion making an attempt to stop its publication. This led to the next alternate involving then-UK cupboard secretary Robert Armstrong:

Learn extra about historical past’s best euphemisms.

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