Mixed euphemisms, or, Rest stops redux

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sat Apr 24 17:57:28 UTC 2010

The only inconsistent use of euphemisms is by the reporter, who uses
"bathroom" in one instance and "bathroom facility" in another. The others
are all from different sources. The headline, as is often the case, is
trimmed; headline style is a very different beast. And the other uses are in
quotes from a state official and from a state report. (Reporters don't, and
shouldn't, change quotes to maintain consistency of terminology.)

Rest stop: 1 instance, headline
Rest-stop bathroom, 1 instance, reporter (distinguishes between the rest
stop and the bathroom at the rest stop)
Bathroom facility: 2 instances, state official & reporter
Lavatory: 1 instance, state report
Tourism facility, 1 instance, state report

And having traveled these roads many times (albeit not in the last decade
since I moved to California), the "tourism facility" undoubtedly refers to
the "tourist information centers" at the first rest stop after crossing the
state line. From the context of budget cuts, it's clear the state is
eliminating the staff positions needed to maintain bathrooms and information

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Joel S. Berson
Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2010 8:09 AM
Subject: Mixed euphemisms, or, Rest stops redux

Bloomberg News and the State of New Jersey
apparently could not agree on a single euphemism
to use.  The following all appear in the article:

rest stop (in headline)
rest-stop bathroom
bathroom facility
tourism facility
      (Unclear what this last term actually
refers to.  The article does not mention -- um --
elimination of tourist information services)

Note that truckers at least will still be able to
rest -- "Parking areas at the rest areas would
remain open for truckers".  But if the 18
maintenance positions to be eliminated are the
full complement, how will NJ be able to keep the tourists out?

 From the Boston Globe, April 23:

N.J. considers closing highway rest stops
By Bloomberg News  |  April 23, 2010

TRENTON, N.J. - Governor Chris Christie wants to
shut the last two rest-stop bathrooms on nontoll
roads in the most densely populated US state after this year to save

"We just don't have the money for the bathroom
facilities,'' Christie's transportation
commissioner, James Simpson, told members of the
Senate Budget and Appropriations committee
yesterday during a hearing on his department's
$1.24 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The bathrooms scheduled to close under Christie's
plan are on Interstate 80 at the Pennsylvania
border and Interstate 295 at the Delaware border.
Parking areas at the rest areas would remain open
for truckers, Simpson said. The closings would
eliminate 18 maintenance positions, according to
the department's written response to questions
from the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services.

"Lavatory and tourism facilities will now be
closed on all of the state's nontoll roadways,'' the response says.

Drivers will still find bathroom facilities on
the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State
Parkway. Those are two of the busiest toll roads
in the United States, according to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Christie, a Republican who took office Jan. 19,
proposed a $29.3 billion budget that includes $10 billion of spending

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

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