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#147976 - 09/14/05 06:53 PM refugees?
Father Steve Offline
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Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 2788
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
The Rt. Rev'd D. Bruce MacPherson, the (Episcopal) Bishop of Western Louisiana, has requested the people of the Episcopal Church not to refer to those who have left Louisiana as a consequence of Hurricane Katrina as "refugees." Bishop MacPherson said, "They have not fled to a foreign country, they have sought the aid of a neighbor. I pray that we may look upon them as 'evacuees' to whom we have been given the gift to minister."

Odd thought. If they aren't "refugees" then what makes them different from other people who are refugees? Besides, the term "evacuees" sounds to me like someone who has had all the moisture sucked out of them by being placed in a hypobaric vessel.

#147977 - 09/14/05 07:02 PM Re: refugees?
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
I like "neighbors".

formerly known as etaoin...

#147978 - 09/14/05 07:18 PM Geoff Nunberg
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
... discusses this and other Katrina-related words in his latest column.


#147979 - 09/14/05 08:53 PM Re: refugees?
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
Does anyone else remember DPs?


#147980 - 09/14/05 09:05 PM Re: Geoff Nunberg
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
thanks for the link, Anna.
but this para made me sit up:
One showed a young black man carrying a bag of food in chest-deep water with a caption that described him as looting; another showed a fair-skinned couple in identical circumstances and described them as "finding" food at a local grocery store. (bold emphasis mine)

black? fair-skinned? why not white?

formerly known as etaoin...

#147981 - 09/14/05 11:08 PM Re: Geoff Nunberg
Vernon Compton Offline

Registered: 06/29/01
Posts: 273
Loc: NZ
Perhaps "fair-skinned" was insurance. "White" often means "anglo", and if the writer was not sure of the couple's ethnicity (they may have been hispanic?), the safest bet may have been to stick to colour.

#147982 - 09/15/05 01:22 AM Re: refugees?
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1027
Loc: Switzerland
So in this case the use of refugees represents the opposite of an euphemism. Is there a term for this hypothetical class of words? (something like kakophemism?)

#147983 - 09/15/05 01:39 AM Re: refugees?
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10532
Loc: this too shall pass
The opposite of a euphemism is http://home.mn.rr.com/wwftd/def.htm#dysphemism

(Wikipedia also recognises cacophemism.)


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