Candy coating

There wasn’t as much time as I had hoped yesterday to read my new Euphemisms book; however, euphemisms continued to play in my mental background as I went about my business.

At one point during the day, my mind wandered back to my days working for a Fortune 100 company, employed in what my new dictionary calls “legislative advocacy leadership.” Large corporations are masters at euphemistic technique, a talent that serves them well when applied artfully. I am betting there are readers who have worked in corporate America who have examples to share. Please?

We had “resource realignment,” translation: layoffs. When competing for business that we didn’t win, we were “deselected.” When we made one of the cuts preceding final selection, we were “down selected.”  We also had an “appearance policy,” which was a dress code. Oh, the good old days.

It’s been a while since I worked directly for a corporate concern, but yesterday I received notice of a seminar on “Capture Management.” At the risk of revealing a pinhole in my skill set, I trust this has something to do with sales.

Government uses euphemisms too. They have “revenue enhancements” and “quantitative adjustments.” The financial industry refers to “correction” when the market falls. Every sector has its rose-colored lingo.

I’ll close today with a list excerpted from comments posted on an article on Education World’s website. It’s been around the block but never ceases to amuse me. I might award first prize to our nation’s hardworking teachers for euphemistically finding the bright spot in every trying situation:

Molly demonstrates problems with spatial relationships.
It’s November and she still hasn’t found her cubby.

Paul’s leadership qualities need to be more democratically directed.
He’s a bully.

Jonathan accomplishes tasks when his interest is stimulated.
He has the attention span of a gnat.

Alfred demonstrates some difficulty meeting the challenges of information retention.
He’d forget his name if it wasn’t taped to his desk.

Bunny needs encouragement in learning to form lasting friendships.
Nobody likes her.

Joel appears to be aware of all classroom activities.
He just can’t focus on the one we’re involved in.

David frequently appears bored and restless. You might want to consider placing him in a more challenging environment.
Prison, perhaps?

3 Comments

Filed under All Things Wordish, Marketing/Advertising/PR

3 responses to “Candy coating

  1. chris

    I recently met a Washington type in my own back yard – the clubhouse bar across the street. We traded Capitol Hill stories about legislation, members and fine dining establishments like “The Tune Inn.”

    He gave me his card as he left and his title was Sr. VP and National Solutions Director. Sounds like the grass roots guy to me.

  2. Sally

    One of my superiors (while working as a college intern at the NC Legislature) used this phrase to explain why someone was admonished:
    “He doesn’t understand the duties and limitations of his position”

    which meant – there really isn’t a rule against whatever he did, but it did NOT make the superior happy.
    I find this helpful from time to time at home.

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