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  1. #1
    DaryaDarya is offline Newbie
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    euphemisms-HELP me please!!!

    Hello, I am a student of a linguistic university and I'm currently writing my graduation paper. I need some data from English speakers. Could you fill out the following questionnaire, please! This will take you about a minute. Thank you in advance!

    Sex:(Male/Female):
    Age:
    Current occupation:
    Higher education(Yes/No):

    Read the following words and expressions and answer the questions below.
    -pre-owned (cars)
    -body odour
    -uncomfortably slow digestion
    -fine dryness lines
    -full-figured
    -to pass away
    -period/time of the month
    -sanitation engineer
    -handicapped
    -between jobs
    -to be expecting (a baby)
    -visually challenged
    -bathroom(/bath) tissue
    -mature (referring to age)
    -motion discomfort bag/air-sickness bag

    1) Are you familiar with these words and expressions? Do you know their meaning?
    Yes/No:
    2) Can you come across these words and word combinations in advertising? (all types of ads, including TV-advertisements, on-line advertisements, newspaper advertisements etc.)
    Yes/No:
    3) Do you use these words and expressions in your own speech?
    Yes/No:

    THANK YOU!

  2. #2
    VivienneM's Avatar
    VivienneM is offline Newbie
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    Re: euphemisms-HELP me please!!!

    Sex:Female
    Age: 55
    Current occupation: Transcriber
    Higher education: Yes

    Familiarity with:

    -pre-owned (cars)
    No; would use "second-hand cars"
    -body odour
    Yes, or "BO" for short, although this might be rather old-fashioned.
    -uncomfortably slow digestion
    Unfamiliar.
    -fine dryness lines
    Just "fine lines", I think.
    -full-figured
    Yes, but you only see this in catalogues of ladies' clothing.
    -to pass away
    Yes.
    -period/time of the month
    Yes, both.
    -sanitation engineer
    No, I don't know what it means.
    -handicapped
    Yes.
    -between jobs
    In a jocular sense, yes.
    -to be expecting (a baby)
    Yes.
    -visually challenged
    I don't know that I've come across this.
    -bathroom(/bath) tissue
    No. It's toilet paper.
    -mature (referring to age)
    Yes.
    -motion discomfort bag/air-sickness bag
    Air-sickness bag, yes. Not the former.

    Usage:

    -pre-owned (cars) No. Would use "second-hand cars"
    -body odour: Yes, or "BO" for short.
    -uncomfortably slow digestion: No
    -fine dryness lines: Just "fine lines".
    -full-figured: No, if I was describing someone I would use "plump" or "big".
    -to pass away: Yes, if I was talking to a friend I might say "When did your mother pass away?" rather than "When did your mother die?"
    -period/time of the month: Yes, both.
    -sanitation engineer: No, I don't know what it means.
    -handicapped: Yes -- but this isn't a euphemism, is it? It's the term we used to use. "Disabled" is now more usual, although this isn't ideal. "Person with a disability", perhaps. "Accessible" might be used in certain situations: e.g. "Accessible parking places".
    -between jobs: In a jocular sense, yes. It's like an actor saying he is "resting".
    -to be expecting (a baby): Yes.
    -visually challenged: I think "visual impairment" is used, but it's a bit vague. Personally I'd use "partially sighted", "myopic" or "blind", or whatever the degree of visual difficulty was.
    -bathroom(/bath) tissue : No. It's toilet paper.
    -mature (referring to age) : Yes, to be polite.
    -motion discomfort bag/air-sickness bag: Air-sickness bag, yes. Not the former!

    Advertising:

    -pre-owned (cars). No. Second-hand cars.
    -body odour : Not sure. They may talk generally about "perspiration".
    -uncomfortably slow digestion : No.
    -fine dryness lines : Fine lines, yes.
    -full-figured : No. Adverts would talk about losing weight.
    -to pass away : No.
    -period/time of the month : Both.
    -sanitation engineer : No.
    -handicapped : No.
    -between jobs : No.
    -to be expecting (a baby) : Yes, possibly.
    -visually challenged : No.
    -bathroom(/bath) tissue : No. It's "toilet tissue" in advertisements, but elsewhere it's "toilet paper".
    -mature (referring to age) : Yes.
    -motion discomfort bag/air-sickness bag: No.
    Last edited by VivienneM; 20-Nov-2012 at 15:13.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: euphemisms-HELP me please!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by DaryaDarya View Post

    Sex:(Male
    Age: 75
    Current occupation: retired
    Higher education(Yes

    Read the following words and expressions and answer the questions below.
    -pre-owned (cars) I know this one / I see it in ads / I never use it. It sounds sarcastic or mocking.
    -body odour I know this one / I seldom hear it / I do not use it. Very rude.

    -uncomfortably slow digestion I do not know
    -fine dryness lines I do not know
    -full-figured Yes, I know this one / I hear it / I do not use it. Mocking for "fat." I think that Americans prefer "plus size."
    -to pass away Yes, I know it./ Yes, I hear it/ No, I do not use it. Prefer the brutal but plain "die."
    -period/time of the month Yes, I know it / Yes, I hear it / I use it if necessary
    -sanitation engineer Yes, I know it / I seldom hear it/ I never use it (too mocking)
    -handicapped Yes, I know it / I hear it/ I do not use it. Americans prefer "disabled" as a more gentle term.

    -between jobs Yes, I know it / I hear it/ I have no reason to use it.
    -to be expecting (a baby) Yes, I know it / I hear it/ I have no reason to use it.

    -visually challenged Yes, I know it/ I seldom hear it/ I never use it (Americans say "visually impaired") "Challlenged" is often used in a humorous way. I am computer challenged. Really! (As you can see by the way I am typing this.)
    -bathroom(/bath) tissue Yes, I know / Yes, I hear / I use "toilet paper."
    -mature (referring to age) Oh, yes! I know it / I hear it/ I use "senior."
    -motion discomfort bag/air-sickness bag Yes, I know it / I rarely hear it/ I never use it.
    That was fun!

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: euphemisms-HELP me please!!!

    Sex:Female
    Age: 40s
    Current occupation: Business Writer
    Higher education(Yes/No): ? Higher than what? I have an MBA

    Read the following words and expressions and answer the questions below.
    • -pre-owned (cars) - Have heard it. Think it's silly. I use "used." Advertisers use it
    • -body odour -This isn't a euphamism. Heard it, use it - have not heard advertisers use it
    • -uncomfortably slow digestion - Haven't heard it, don't use it, haven't heard advertiseres use it
    • -fine dryness lines - Haven't heard it, don't use it, haven't heard advertiseres use it
    • -full-figured - Heard it, use it, advertisers use it
    • -to pass away Heard it, use it, not much advertising about death
    • -period/time of the month Heard it, use it, advertisers use "period" -- "time of the month" sound like something of my mother's generation.
    • -sanitation engineer - Heard it, think it's silly, don't use it, haven't seen advertisers talk about jantiros
    • -handicapped - Heard it, use it, along with "disabled" - can't remember about advertisers
    • -between jobs - Heard it, use it only with a wink (no shame in this economy in saying "laid off"), have not heard advertisers targeting this subject
    • -to be expecting (a baby) - Heard it, have used it, more likely to say "pregnant", advertisers seem to use "pregnancy"
    • -visually challenged - Haven't heard it, don't use it, haven't heard advertiseres use it
    • -bathroom(/bath) tissue - Have heard it, I use "toilet paper," advertisers use it and toilet paper
    • -mature (referring to age) - Of course I've heard it, but do you mean as a euphamism for "middled aged" or "elderly"? Don't use it. These days you see "M for mature" on violent video games, which is not what I think of for "middle aged or elderly."
    • -motion discomfort bag/air-sickness bag - Heard both, would only use the latter. Have never seen an advertiser targeting this problem. "Barf bag" is the most common term.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    Joe Rodrigues is offline Newbie
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    Re: euphemisms-HELP me please!!!

    Sex:(Male/Female): M
    Age: 22
    Current occupation: Marine fiberglass/body work
    Higher education(Yes/No): nope

    Answers coded as
    R = Recognized
    A = common in advertising
    U = Used

    -pre-owned (cars)
    RA
    Sounds like advertising speech to me. I say "used."

    -body odour
    R
    Rare in advertisement, rare in spoken use.

    -uncomfortably slow digestion
    Oh! You mean "constipated?" Haven't ever heard that one.

    -fine dryness lines
    A
    I assume this means "skin wrinkles." Reminds me of advertisements I'd heard ten years ago and didn't pay attention to.

    -full-figured
    R
    Who says this in an ad? The whole cult-of-skinny doesn't even acknowledge what healthy body fat looks like. Which is messed up.

    -to pass away
    RAU
    Yeah, I'll use that expression if I don't think I can get away with "die."

    -period
    RU
    Can't think I've heard that term much in advertising.

    -time of the month
    RA
    And, nope, sounds to silly and shy for me to say. Being a guy, this isn't a common topic for me, but I tend to say "menses" if I can get away with it and "period" if I can't.

    -sanitation engineer
    R
    Never heard that one in an ad. It would be "sanitation worker" in my milieu - "engineer" implies driving a desk, not actually doing something.

    -handicapped
    R
    Sounds like incorrect usage to me. I prefer to reserve this term for "unequal rules to adjust for unequal skill" in the context of competition. I prefer constructions with "accessible" and "to accommodate" and straightforward discussion of disabilities. ("Accessibility features." "That color scheme will not be readable to colorblind people. We should accommodate them by changing the green..." etc.)

    -between jobs
    RA

    -to be expecting (a baby)
    RAU
    Although, I can't think of situations where "pregnant" is socially unacceptable.

    -visually challenged
    RA
    I actually am "visually challenged," but it's easier to just say "my depth perception sucks without my glasses" than bother with labels.

    -bathroom(/bath) tissue
    RA
    Dude, it's toilet paper, which is already a euphemism.

    -mature (referring to age)
    RA
    In my usage, does not refer to elders, but to "content not suitable for children." Influenced by the ESRB's video-game rating system, but used more broadly.

    -motion discomfort bag
    R

    -air-sickness bag
    R

    Who advertises these? It's "barf bag" or "vertigo bag" (that's just me; haven't gotten other people to use it) or maybe "motion-sickness bag."

    "Discomfort?" Silly. I don't get sick from motion, but I know people who do - and the way they describe it sounds a lot worse than "discomfort."

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