Boo and Hooray

Legitimate concerns

The English language is full of loaded words that signal boo! or hooray! They’re dysphemisms and euphemisms, or as philosopher Jeremy Bentham put it, pejorative and eulogistic terms.

We live in interesting times, and under a blizzard of euphemisms.

The intolerable arrogance of the EU elites. (Michael Gove) (Boo! Can he mean us?)

We havenÔÇÖt got the facts and figures. They havenÔÇÖt given us the information. ItÔÇÖs all smoke and mirrors.┬á (In the run-up to the referendum, this meant “they’re not giving us the facts we want to hear. It’s all lies.”)

This is why theyÔÇÖre trying to depose Jeremy Corbyn ÔÇô he refused to be racist enough. The real nature of the complaint is of course buried in metaphor; the preferred euphemism is electability. (

There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. (A BBC internal memo comes up with more euphemisms for “racist“.)

More here, and in my book Boo & Hooray.

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