Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Topic Options
#147976 - 09/14/05 06:53 PM refugees?
Father Steve Offline
Carpal Tunnel

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: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
The opposite of a euphemism is http://home.mn.rr.com/wwftd/def.htm#dysphemism

(Wikipedia also recognises cacophemism.)


Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8968 Members
16 Forums
13870 Topics
222527 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
Tatanka17, Marci, dorrick, thedesertsimmom, LostAuthor
8968 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 15 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
wofahulicodoc 56
LukeJavan8 40
may2point0 36
delirium 4
DavidLaurence 1
Curtis 1
A C Bowden 1
Top Posters
wwh 13858
Faldage 13803
Jackie 11613
tsuwm 10538
LukeJavan8 8540
Buffalo Shrdlu 7210
wofahulicodoc 6940
AnnaStrophic 6511
Wordwind 6296
of troy 5400

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2016 Wordsmith