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EPHRAIM Offline OP
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I write today seeking the right word to describe the verbal phenomenon of having a title or a word provide a socially positive cover or soft sell for a a more hard fast direct title or concept. For instance, the "Human Rights Campaign" is the tile used by the Gay rights movement. The "Environment Sustenance Initiative," is used by the logging and paper industry. What is the word to describe this verbal phenomenon. Does it end in"nym?"

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If it were one word it might be called a euphemism

eu·phe·mism
"The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive: "Euphemisms such as 'slumber room' . . . abound in the funeral business" ). "

But for this type of lables I'm not sure. Welcome.

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Welcome Ephraim.


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I think Bran has it with euphemism
but also consider.... marketing...a strategic plan to capture the audience.

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Originally Posted By: EPHRAIM

"Human Rights Campaign" is the tile used by the Gay rights movement. The "Environment Sustenance Initiative,"


It also has to do with upgrading perfectly OK definitons, like the cleaning lady or man has become 'interior caretaker' and the garbage men are called 'environment employees'. It may sound better, it's still the same job and not much wrong with that.

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"Framing." Check out George Lakoff.

Although, "framing" is not necessarily masking or misdirecting intent. I can't see how the quest for "gay rights" is anything other than a human rights issue.

In some cases, "framing" is "spin." Spin can mean retelling a story in a framework that makes it seem different than what it is (or what it seems).

Different groups can frame things differently. The "Affordable Care Act" sounds more agreeable than "Obamacare" to people who have been trained to dislike him.

In the same way, "Defense of Marriage Act" sounds more agreeable than "An act to codify irrational, religious prejudice into law."

Last edited by TheFallibleFiend; 08/08/12 04:02 PM.
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It certainly is a euphemism, but to me, it is very like - possible quite - a "nominalisation."

This is a well-known device in newspaper writing, advertising and numerous other fields where a name is given to a concept, such as 'Human Rights' or Civil Liberty' that becomes so well used that no-ine thinks aboiut the actual menaing any more.

'Human Rights' can mean different things to different people, but we can all agree that humans have rights and that it is a "good thing" to defend them, even though one might mean that humans have the right not to be judicially murdered, whilst others think that humans have the right to be protected from murderers and rapists by hanging them.

(I'm not taking sides, here - just using an example! 'Liberty' is another very wooly nominalisation. - Liberty to do what??)


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