Political dysphemisms

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Aug 18 00:04:04 UTC 2009

At 5:57 PM -0400 8/17/09, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>One more? How about "cap-and-trade" vs. "carbon tax"? This is
>particularly telling with someone like Sen. McCain who supported
>"cap-and-trade" during the campaign but not "carbon tax" more recently,
>without any particular differentiation between the two. It is possible,
>I suppose, that the problem is not dysphemism but ignorance, but I was
>trying to be kind, perhaps.
>    VS-)

--reminding one of "revenue enhancement"--which are not taxes, of
course.  What's the difference?  Well, it's called "revenue
enhancement", not "taxes".  But I wouldn't say that "tax" is
dysphemism here, but rather that "revenue enhancement" is a
euphemism.  It's partly a question of which came first.

>Mark Peters wrote:
>>Thanks to all for your dysphemic help--especially Jonathan!
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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