A euphemism is the substitution of a mild, inoffensive, uncontroversial phrase, for a frank, honest expression that might otherwise offend or suggest something unpleasant to the audience.
Euphemisms are particularly popular in today’s paranoid, overly-sensitive, pandering, ball-less, politically correct society. What began as a curtailment of racial and ethnic slurs (which are admittedly hurtful and ignorant) has escalated to a ridiculous altitude of absurd word twisting and language torture, manifested in a grotesque attempt to please the easily offended.
If you live on this planet and language offends you – butch up my audio-sensitive puritanical tight-assed friends, because with wars, a lagging economy, reality shows, and the lack of any place that will serve you a rare hamburger without worrying about a lawsuit – there’s plenty more to concern your twitchy noggin about.
What happened to freedom of speech? Thank God, for standup comedy where I can say MOST of what I want. Even in a fake democracy – standup is one of the last bastions of free speech. And this stupid euphemistic babble has affected even that.
Like when I travel. I’ve noticed in hotels that now instead of the Do Not Disturb sign there’s a Privacy Please sign in its place. What cornhole thought this up? Privacy Please sounds weird and overly personal. Like maybe I’m shaving my privates and don’t want anyone to walk in on me. It’s too vague. I adore the Do Not Disturb sign. It’s straightforward and definitive. Privacy Please is flaccid and wishy-washy. So now I bring my own door sign, it says: STAY THE FUCK OUT. There’s even a little menacing cartoon gangster on it pointing a finger, with the word bubble: This means you! No ambiguity there.
Here’s another one. When did macaroni and cheese become Mac & Cheese? “Hey, we’re hip, we’re cool – we’re Mac & Cheese!” You’re starch and fat, so get over it. Just because you take the “aroni” off “macaroni” doesn’t make it high class. The yuppies and the nouvelle cuisine douchebags thought this one up. What? You can’t admit you’re eating a delicious white trash meal because you’re carrying Louis Vuitton and wearing John Varvatos? Kraft makes it in a box for 59 cents for chrissakes! It’s Dollar Store cuisine. Just because it’s now served in a little casserole dish with a doily under it doesn’t change its heritage. It’s good and it’s ghetto.
I can’t believe people are falling for this “Mac & Cheese” bullshit in restaurants to the tune of ten and twelve dollars an entree. The worst is when these dildo chefs add lobster to it and then upcharge the dumbasses $15 to $20 an entrée! I actually heard someone say, “We had the mac and cheese with lobster. It was fabulous!”
No it wasn’t. Lobster doesn’t go with macaroni and cheese. That’s disgusting. Just because lobster is expensive and fabulous doesn’t give it carte blanche to fit randomly into any food item. Use some discernment. I love filet mignon and it’s beyond delicious – but I wouldn’t put it in a smoothie.
What’s more interesting about all this is that macaroni is now being called “pasta” in a phony attempt to make it sound more upscale (and hence charge more for it). But “Pasta and Cheese” sounds like shit, even to the desperately pretentious. Hence, “Mac & Cheese” was born. Again, if Jesus did come back – he’d never stop puking.
I also hate it when they advertise something as “Family Style”. Like a “Family Style” restaurant. What family? Manson? Menendez? Partridge?
Family Style? What - a bunch of reluctant diners sitting at a table reminiscing about lost opportunities, lack of parental encouragement, and the occasional molestation of a cousin by Uncle Sid at family get-togethers? Give me a “Stranger Style” restaurant and I’ll stay for dessert! Now you’re talkin’! The less family at a meal – the better my digestion.
Here’s another euphemism to make you dry heave: The word “challenge” for “problem.” What’s so shameful about having a problem? We all have problems. “My husband ran off with the pool boy, my daughter is pregnant by a felonious dwarf, and I just found out my buttock implants were done by the Fix-a-Flat doctor.” Lady, you got problems.
Okay, I could go on forever or “beyond the vast corridors of time, space and cable TV” but instead I’ll leave you with this: Say it like it is. Because sooner or later, it will be.
And That’s the Visionary Assessment from this Controversial Speech Loving Female of the Species.
Anna Collins is a standup comedian, writer and animation stylist. To see her work and performance dates go to www.AnnaCollins.com