The Misfortune Teller

Polemical Poetry VIII: The Inflated Style as Euphemism

Michael Murry President Barack Obama’s most recent speech launching yet another self-declared Personal Presidential Crusade against yet another Evil Muslim Acronym (ISIS/ISIL/IS, whatever) reminds me of something that General David Petraeus, Commander of the International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan once said regarding his mission objectives and his prospects for achieving them: “I think no…

Euphemisms and the Banality of Evil

W.J. Astore I teach a course on the Holocaust, so I’ve had ample opportunity to confront the use of euphemisms by the Nazis to cloak their murderous intent.  The most infamous euphemism was “the final solution to the Jewish question,” which of course refers to the mass murder–the extermination–of all Jews everywhere. But there were…