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It is a figure in which something offensive or harsh is stated in an agreeable or pleasant way.

It is, according to Scott,  'the substitution of a less distasteful word or phrase for a more truthful but more offensive one'.

The main purpose of this figure is to soften a harsh or blunt expression. Euphemism consists in ' the use of an indirect form of speech instead of a bold, abrupt statement of an unpleasant truth'. It is always prompted by a kindly feeling. Sometimes courtesy demands its use when the direct mention of a thing might increase the grief of a person or hurt his soft feeling. Sometimes it is prompted by a sense of decorum since the direct mention of a thing might cross the limits of propriety and decency.  The sentence 'He perished on the scaffold ' is an example of euphemism,  for here a harsh fact (i.e., he was hanged) has been softened down. it is to be noted that sometimes a single word, but usually a roundabout expression, effects this figure. 

The chief characteristics of this figure are given below:

(i) A harsh or blunt thing is expressed in a pleasant or mild manner.

(ii) It is done in an indirect or roundabout way.

(iii) Its purpose is to share one's feelings,  not to hurt them.

Examples:

(a) He is short in his accounts 

(b) The bank has stopped payment

(c) He has fallen asleep (i.e.,died)

(d) He that's coming must be provided for (i.e.,..killed)

1 comments:

Word22gamer said...

A euphemism is a word or phrase that you can use instead of saying something rude or offensive.
In many cultures, for example, there’s a taboo about death. So saying “He’s dead” would be a bit offensive. As a result, people often say “He’s passed away”, or even “He’s passed”. Everyone knows that means “He’s dead”, but you’re not saying that word.
There are even more mild examples, too. In some situations, saying “disabled” is seen as a rude thing to say, so you’ll see phrases like “differently abled” or “handicapped”. “Handicapped”, in its turn, has become a bit rude for some people, so there’s sometimes a movement to say “handicapable”.

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