6.13 Euphemism

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					                          A New English Course (Book 6)
                              Unit 13: Euphemisms
                           厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室

Unit Thirteen

Text I: Euphemism

I.      Teaching objectives

1. Understand the nature of euphemism.

2. Know something about the relationship between names and things

3. Learn to tell the motives for euphemizing

4. Promote an awareness of pragmatic usage of euphemisms.

II. Warm-up questions

1. What does the word “euphemism” mean? Do you know of any other words that
   begin with the prefix eu- ?

2. What are the motives for euphemizing?

3. For what particular topics are euphemisms often used? Do you know of any
   anecdote about the usage of euphemisms?

4. Euphemisms abound in Chinese. Can you list some examples of Chinese
   euphemisms?

5. In the text, the author uses terms like “culturally different children”, “sanitation
   engineer”, and “mental institutions”. What do you think they might mean?

6. How do you like euphemisms? Are you conscious of their usage in your daily life?

7. How do people usually react to euphemizing? What’s the major objections for
   those who dislike euphemism?

8. What’s the author’s attitude towards using euphemisms?

III. Relevant information

1. Etymology of the word “euphemism”:

     [1650-60; < Gk euphē mismós; see EUPHEMIZE, -ISM]


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                         A New English Course (Book 6)
                             Unit 13: Euphemisms
                          厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室


  euphemize [1855-60; Gk euphē mízein to use words of good omen]
  eu- a combining form meaning “good,” “well,” occurring originally in loanwords
   from Greek


   euphemism: made up of three bound morphemes:, all Greek in origin:
      eu (good) + phem(voice) +ism (act/result)

   Examples:

  eulogy: a statement of praise, esp. a set oration in honor of a deceased person;
             -high praise 颂词
           eulogize v, 歌颂

   euphony: agreeableness of sound; pleasing effect to the ear, esp. a pleasant
   sounding or harmonious combination or succession of words
           euphonic adj.声音悦耳

  eugenic 优生                 eupeptic 消化良好的           etc.

  In the sixteenth century, the British aristocracy was developing its own elaborate
  court language. Characterized by circumlocutions and amplifications, or, in other
  words, beatings around the bush, runnings around in circles, and excessive
  verbiage, this courtly argot was known as euphuism and was given its name by the
  author John Lyly who employed it in a satirical work called Euphues (1578). By
  the early 1580s, the author George Blount used the term “euphemism” in English,
  defining it as “a good or favorable interpretation of a bad word.” Although the
  terms “euphuism” and “euphemism” do not have the same meaning, they both
  describe a manner of speaking that leans toward indirectness in the service of
  pleasantness.

2. Motives for euphemising

   a) Fear and a desire to placate the mysterious forces that rule the universe were
      probably the original reasons for euphemizing. For instance, afraid to flout
      social and moral conventions, we refer to our lovers as COMPANIONS, thus
      disguising the unconventional or socially unacceptable nature of the
      relationship. Our fear of specific diseases had led us to coin a lexicon of
      euphemisms for insanity and retardation, epilepsy, venereal disease, cancer,
      heart disease and stroke.

   b) Another motive for contemporary euphemizing is our strong desire to avoid
      offending others. For instance, in our eagerness to avoid deflating our egos
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                         A New English Course (Book 6)
                             Unit 13: Euphemisms
                          厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
      and those of others, we often create euphemisms that inflate them, for
      example, by conferring overblown titles on people, places and jobs. The term
      “professor” has been attached to bartenders, magicians and snake oil salesmen,
      as well as academics. The term “institute” and “college” have been applied to
      schools for auto mechanics, television repairmen, barbers, embalmers and
      others.

Euphemism:

    A pleasant way of referring to something unpleasant.

    substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be
     offensively harsh or blunt

    a figure of speech (修辞格)in which indirectness replaces directness of
     statement, usually in an effort to avoid offensive bluntness in some subject
     involving delicacy or taboo

3. Formation of euphemisms

  Joseph M. Williams suggests five general semantic processes by means of which
  euphemisms are created.

   a) borrowing words from other languages----terms that are less freighted with
      negative associations, e.g., halitosis (bad breath)< Latin halitus for breath

   b) widening----When a specific term becomes too painful or vivid, we move up
      in the ladder of abstraction. e.g., growth (cancer), foundation (girdle), solid
      human waste (feces)

   c) semantic shift----the substitution of the whole, or a similar generality, for the
      specific part we do not choose to discuss. e.g., rear end (bottuck)

   d) metaphorical transfer----the comparison of things of one order to things of
      another. e.g. blossom (pimple)

   e) phonetic distortion----When we encounter words that we dare not speak their
      names, we abbreviate, apocopate(shorten or omit the last syllable), initial,
      convert, backform and reduplicate them. e.g.

      Abbreviation: ladies < ladies’ room

      Apocopation: vamp < vampire (a seductive woman)


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                         A New English Course (Book 6)
                             Unit 13: Euphemisms
                          厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
      Initialing: JC < Jesus Christ

      Backforming: burgle (rob) < burglar

      Reduplication: pee-pee < piss

      Phonetic distortion: cripes < Christ, Gad < God

Examples of euphemism

       garbage man                            sanitation engineer

       old people                             senior citizen

       pregnant                               in the family way

       die                                    pass away

       the dead                               the deceased /the late

       burier                                 undertaker / mortician

       lunatic asylums                        mental institutions

4. An anecdote

       When Oscar Wilde was publicly tried for homosexuality, a subject never
  before quite so widely aired, he defended his particular taste as “the love that dare
  not speak its name.”
       Taboo or forbidden meanings of a word drive out its competing general or
  acceptable ones. e.g. gay, which has become the property of the homosexual
  community, is no longer primarily used as a synonym for “happy” or “vivacious.”
  “A gay party” is no longer a phrase used to describe a lively gathering but has the
  specific connotation of a social occasion for homosexuals.

5. Attitudes towards using euphemism

   A. General

            (For) To use euphemism is to show a decent respect for the feeling of
             others.

            (against) It is possible for euphemism to signal false delicacy,


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                         A New English Course (Book 6)
                             Unit 13: Euphemisms
                          厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
            insincerity, sentimentality, excessive modesty. (故做文雅,虚伪,造
            做,过分谦虚)

           There can also be a measure of irony in euphemism


   B. The author’s attitude toward using euphemism

  If euphemism is used to hide ugly realities, to serve as disguise for immoral acts,
   (as in the case of using the term “Operation Sunshine” to wipe out the hideous
   imagery people have in association with conducting hydrogen bomb
   experiments), then euphemism is bad and should be condemned.

IV. Comprehension questions

  What relationship do you recognize in “names” and “things”?

  Why do people euphemize?

  What is the function of euphemizing?
    (Euphemizing is a perfectly intelligent method of generating new and useful
    ways of perceiving things.)

  According to Postman, when is euphemizing contemptible and when is
   euphemizing OK?
   (Euphemizing is contemptible when a name makes us see something that is not
   true or diverts our attention from something that is. ( or … if it is intended as a
   disguise to hide immoral acts, to conceal ugly realities etc.)

  What role does euphemisms play in a culture?
   (“Euphemisms are a means through which a culture may alter its imagery and by
   so doing subtly change its style, its priorities, and its value” “Euphemism is
   more than using an alternative for a less agreeable term in a language, it is a
   useful means in effecting people’s belief and attitudes.” )

  What moral dimensions does the author recognize in euphemizing?
   (The moral dimensions are supplied by what the words in question express, what
   they want us to value and to see. If euphemizing is intended to hide hideous
   imagery or to commit immoral acts, them such euphemizng should be
   condemned. If euphemizing is good-intentional, such as using “senior citizens”
   instead of “old people” to give political identity or to show respect for older
   people, then euphemism is good.

  What positive function does Postman recognize in euphemizing? (intelligent
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                          A New English Course (Book 6)
                              Unit 13: Euphemisms
                           厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
     method of generating new and useful ways of perceiving things, an important
     intellectual resource for creating new perspectives on a subject.)

V. Analysis of the organization of the text

   Para. 1:   A common definition: euphemism has got a bad name.

    Para. 2: Change in names vs change in nature. (Transition: “To begin with”.
    Topic sentence: the first sentence, a basis for further discussion.)

    Para. 3: Euphemism -- a method of generating new and useful ways of perception.
            (cohesive device: “Now…But…”)

    Para. 4: The neutral nature of the process of enphemisng (There is nothing in the
            process of euphemizing itself that is contemptible). ( “The point that I am
            making” offering a clue to the main argument)

    Para. 5 The cultural effect of euphemizing on language: Change in a name must
            be supported by some authentic tendency or drift in the culture. (argument
            through concession: “I grant…such euphemizing…” followed by
            assertion)

    Para. 6: Moral dimensions of emphemizng

    Para. 7: Summary of main idea (conclusive signal “The key idea here…”)

VI. Language points

1. auspicious: (fairly formal) favorable or glorified, raising the status of the person
   referred to, e.g. It was an auspicious start to their election campaign.

2. exalted: uplifting

3. down-to-earth: factual, telling what something actually is

4. partial: showing special favor to one side, person, etc., esp. in an unfair way;
   biased
   partiality: bias
    e.g. Show no partiality in your decisions.
    be partial to: like very much, e.g I’m very partial to sweet foods.我特喜欢甜食。

5. detestable: hateful

6. operation: (singular) used as part of a code name for military campaigns
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                           A New English Course (Book 6)
                               Unit 13: Euphemisms
                            厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室


7. expunge: (formal) remove completely, e.g. from a piece of writing or from your
   memory, because it causes problems or bad feelings
  e.g. He had tried to expunge memories of the failure.
       …his battle to expunge the clause from the contact

8. imagery: the mental pictures that are created in your mind by poetic language;
   used also of the words which create these pictures.
  e.g. He argued that Shakespeare’s plays were patterns of imagery.

9. amiss: wrong, inadequate
   (sth.) not come/go amiss: it would be very welcome and useful
      e.g. A little calm and detachment wouldn’t come amiss.

10. vein: style or mood
  e.g. - John Gielgud can also be heard in much lighter vein on Radio Four…
      - The letter continued in this vein for several pages.

11. generate: (formal) cause (a situation or feeling) to begin, esp. when it then
  continues to exist or develop by itself
  e.g. - Technology by itself does not generate new ideas…
        -This book will continue to generate excitement for a long time…
        - Tourism will generate new jobs.

12. attend to: deal with (e.g. a problem), see to
  e.g. - I had two items of business to attend to before I could relax.
       - If we do not attend to the problem, it will certainly grow.

13. divert: cause to be used for a different purpose of activity
  e.g. -We feel it desirable to divert funds from armaments to health and education.
      - If you don’t use it, you can divert the money into savings.

14. alienate…from: emotionally or intellectually separate from, estrange, isolate
  e.g. - We live in an age in which people have been alienated from their roots.
       - The leadership must never become alienated from the ordinary members.
       - I felt alienated, angry and alone.
       - …the growing feeling of despair and alienation

15. frame of mind: the mood that someone is in, which causes him to have a
  particular attitude to something; humour
  e.g. I’m not the right frame of mind for riddles.

16. authentic: (painting, a piece of writing, etc.) genuine rather than being an
    imitation; real; bona fide
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                           A New English Course (Book 6)
                               Unit 13: Euphemisms
                            厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
  e.g. - They inserted among the authentic documents several that had been forged.
      - It is an authentic Air Force jacket.

17. incongruous: strange for not fitting properly into the rest of the event or situation
  e.g.- He was an incongruous figure among the tourists.
      -The sound of the horn hung in the air, lonely and incongruous.
       -I was struck by the glaring incongruity of the scene. There I was, my face
       dirty, my clothes torn; and there he was, immaculate as usual.

18. amount to: have particular worth or importance; be worth
  e.g. - It is unlikely that the forthcoming talks will amount to very much.
      - What do these rumors amount to?
19. priorities: a set of problems, considerations, or courses of action, which need
  dealing with in a particular order because some are more important than others.
  e.g. - There is little attempt to find out the priorities of the public.
      - The policeman had his priorities right.

20. categorically: positively
  e.g. - The government have stated quite categorically that we’re going to see a
        change in priorities.
      - be categorical about: completely certain about; positive
      e.g. On this point we can be clear and categorical.

21. propriety: (formal) correctness of behaviour in terms of what is considered
  socially or morally acceptable
  e.g. - What is questionable is the propriety of diluting truth for the sake of a good
        story.
        - I always try to write with propriety.

VII. Difficult sentences (paraphrase)

1.“things do not have ‘real’ names …”: i.e. The meaning of the majority of words is
  arbitrary and conventional. Words are no more than labels given to things.

  A quotation from Shakespeare:
   “What’s in a name: That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet.”

2. “What we call things affects how we will perceive them”. i.e. Things may take
   on a different look when named differently.

  perceive: understand or come to a particular opinion about sth. By studying,
  observing, reading, etc.
  e.g. - It is important that the president be perceived as moving the country forward.
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                          A New English Course (Book 6)
                              Unit 13: Euphemisms
                           厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
      -…this theory expresses the truth as I perceive it.

3. “It would appear that human beings almost naturally come to identify names
with things, which is one of our more fascinating illusion.” Mankind seems
predisposed to regard things as being inseparable from the labels they bear. This is a
most intriguing delusion.

VIII. Classroom discussion

1. What role do euphemisms play in a culture? What moral dimension does the
   author recognize in euphemizing?
2. Do you agree with Postman that euphemism may change the attitude of the people
   toward the thing?

VIV. Assignment

Choose a topic for which there are euphemisms in both English and Chinese, and
compare differences in perception of the topic between English people and Chinese
people.


                                  Text II Clutter
I. Teaching objectives

1. Have an idea of the various forms of clutter in writing.
2. Realize how harmful clutter might be to a piece of writing.
3. Learn to identify clutter in writing and to get rid of it. .

II. Pre-reading questions

1. What is clutter? Is it a common problem in writing?
2. What effects do you think clutter may cause?

III. Organization and development of the text

Para. 1: Introducing the topic - fighting clutter is like fighting weeds: the writer is
        always slightly behind. The simile hints at the difficulty involved in fighting
        clutter.

Para 2—10: Various forms that clutter may take:

  Para. 2: Prepositions that are draped onto verbs

  Para. 3: adjectives that do not really qualify the noun
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                            A New English Course (Book 6)
                                Unit 13: Euphemisms
                             厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室


     Paras. 4: & 5 laborious phrases which have pushed out the short synonymous word

     Para. 6: ponderous euphemisms

     Para 7: official language used by American corporation in its new release and
         annual reports

     Para. 8; language of the interoffice memo

     Para. 9:language of the Pentagon

     Para. 10: language of government officials

     Para. 11: Re-asserting the point: Clutter is the enemy, whatever form it takes.


     Para. 12 –14: Illustrating with examples of long words that are no better than their
     shorter synonyms

  Paras. 15-18 Citing personal experience in fighting clutter----the device to use,
 the effect it has produced, the steps to take, and the fundamental principle.

IV. Language points

1.  sprout: grow, appear, develop
2.  drape: hang loosely on
3.  free up: move or loosen a person or thing that is prevented from moving
4.  face up to: meet confidently or defiantly; accept and deal with sth. unpleasant or
    demanding with honesty and bravery
5. stricken: affected or overcome by illness
6. lumber: move in a heavy and clumsy way
7. gasp: take quick deep breaths with open mouth because of exhaustion
8. sting: sharp pain
9. …gasping death shall lose its sting: more painful to bear it than death
10. ponderous: slow, awkward, dull (in writing or speaking)
11. incinerator: furnace for burning rubbish
12. hobo/bum: tramp, vagrant
13. realign: bring into a new arrangement
14. populace: ordinary people
15. deterrence: act of making sb. decide not to do sth.
16. tenure: holding of office
17. pluralization: existence in the society of a number of groups that belong to
    different races, political beliefs
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                         A New English Course (Book 6)
                             Unit 13: Euphemisms
                          厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
18. sanction: measures taken to force a country to international law
19. vortex: winding mass
20. Al.: (Latin) other person
21. insidious: spreading or acting gradually and unnoticed but with harmful effect
22. sort of: to some extent; in some way of other (suggesting vagueness, used in very
    informal English)
23. infested: full of

V. Topics for discussion and assignment

1. According to Zinsser, clutter produces undesirable effects on the language we use.
   But some people are using clutter with a purpose. What purposes has Zinsser
   mentioned? Can you think of any other purpose for using clutter?
2. Zinsser uses metaphorical language in many places. Identify them and comment
   on their effects.

                           Supplementary Exercises

II.    Fill in each blank with the proper form of the right word in the bracket.

1. Martha was mildly superstitious, so breaking her mirror didn’t seem a(n)
    __________ start to the day. (auspicious, conspicuous)
2. Soon after the shooting, “NO Trespassing” signs appeared in _________ color at
    ___________ locations around the preserve. (auspicious, conspicuous)
3. After years of good behavior, all mention of his juvenile criminal career was
    ________ from his record. (expel, expunge)
4. The doctor had him take a deep breath and then ________ all the air from his
    lungs. (expel, expunge)
5. Her change in attitude toward him was barely __________, and he couldn’t be
    sure that he wasn’t imagining it. (perceptible, susceptible)
6. Impressed with her intelligence and self-confidence, he was highly __________ to
    her influence. (perceptible, susceptible)
7. The farmers successfully __________ some of the river water to irrigate their
    crops during the drought. (divert, dissipate)
8. The moderator’s good humor slowly _________ the tension that had filled the
    meeting room. (divert, dissipate)
9. Franklin D. Roosevelt used the talks to popularize his economic programs and to
    give heart to the ___________ as they struggled through the Great Depression.
    (populous, populace)
10. Though often ignored by Americans, Indonesia is the fourth most ___________
    country in the world. (populous, populace)

II. Complete each of the following sentences with the correct form of a suitable
word chosen from the list at the head of each group.
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                             Unit 13: Euphemisms
                          厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
A. accuse, charge, incriminate, indict, impeach
1. He _______ a bystander of trying to pick his pocket.
2. The House of representatives __________ President Andres Johnson of high
     crimes and misdemeanors.
3. The jury refused to __________ the men accused of arson.
B. hateful, odious, detestable, abominable
1. Hypocrisy is more __________ than shamelessness.
2. It was a(n) __________ face, crafty, vicious, malignant, with shifty, light gray
    eyes.
3. Why shouldn’t we hate what is __________ in people, and scorn what is mean?
C. fundamental, basic, underlying, radical
1. The distinction must be made between _________ scientific research and applied
    research.
2. Fatigue nor worry nor professordom could extinguish his __________ gaiety.
3. A _________ error touches the very center and source of a thing’s life.
D. illusion, delusion, hallucination, mirage
1. He recovered consciousness slowly, unwilling to let go of a pleasing __________
    that he was in Rome.
2. Most modern great men are mere _________ sprung out of a national hunger for
    greatness.
3. The burglar in her room wan only a(n) ________.
E. see, perceive, observe, discern, contemplate
1. In order to get fresh light on this subject, I have ________ my own children
    carefully.
2. His grave eyes steadily ____________ the good in men.
3. He was disgusted with every person who could not ____________ these obvious
    truths.
F. authentic, genuine, veritable, bona fide
1. It is a(n) _________ description of the Great Fire of London.
2. His fits of passion are __________ hurricanes.
3. She loves _________ maple syrup.
G. camouflage, disguise, mask, cloak, dissemble
1. They _________ themselves as Turks for a joke.
2. Intolerance and public irresponsibility cannot be _________ in the shining armor
    of rectitude and righteousness.
3. The absolute character of these dictatorships was __________ somewhat by an
    elaborate parliamentary system.

    keys: 1. auspicious 2. conspicuous
    auspicious: (1) promising success; favorable. (2) fortunate, prosperous
    In ancient Rome there was an entire order of priests, the auspices, whose job it
was to watch birds fly across the Roman sky. After noting what kinds of birds and
how many had flown in which direction, they delivered prophecies according to what
they had seen. For example, two eagles flying from east to west was usually
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                           A New English Course (Book 6)
                               Unit 13: Euphemisms
                            厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
considered auspicious, or favorable; tow or more vultures flying west to east was
inauspicious, unless the Romans were looking forward to a war. Thus, the auspices
were birdwatchers, although not quite like birdwatchers today.
      conspicuous: obvious or noticeable; striking in a way that attracts attention
      Conspicuous usually refers to something so obvious that it cannot be missed by
the eye or mind. We often speak, for instance, of conspicuous bravery of conspicuous
generosity. It also frequently describes something that draws attention by being
unpleasant or unusual. Businesspeople try to avoid making themselves conspicuous
by their clothes or their personal habits. The phrase “conspicuous consumption” is
often used to describe lavish spending intended to increase one’s social prestige, a
well-known aspect of American life.
                   ---- from Merriam-Webster’s Vocabulary Builder, pp. 126-7.
11. After years of good behavior, all mention of his juvenile criminal career was
     ________ from his record. (expel, expunge)
12. The doctor had him take a deep breath and then ________ all the air from his
     lungs. (expel, expunge)
      keys: 3. expunged 4. expel
      expunge: to remove, erase, or destroy
Expunge comes directly from the Latin expungere, which means “to mark for deletion
with dots.” In English, the material expunged is no longer marked with dots but is
erased or removed completely. It is easier to expunge something written down that it
is to expunge a memory. ---- from Merriam-Webster’s Vocabulary Builder, p. 477.
      expel: (1) to drive or force out. (2) to force to leave, usually by official action
      To expel is to drive out, and the noun associated with it is expulsion. Expel is
similar in meaning to eject, except that expel suggest pushing out while eject suggests
throwing out. Also, to expel usually means to force out permanently, whereas ejecting
may only be temporary. The player ejected from the game ma be back tomorrow; the
student expelled from school is probably out forever. ---- from Merriam-Webster’s
Vocabulary Builder, p. 182.
13. Her change in attitude toward him was barely __________, and he couldn’t be
     sure that he wasn’t imagining it. (perceptible, susceptible)
14. Impressed with her intelligence and self-confidence, he was highly __________ to
     her influence. (perceptible, susceptible)
      keys: 5. perceptible 6. susceptible
      perceptible: noticeable or able to be felt by the senses
      Perceptible includes the prefix per-, meaning “through,” so the word refers to
whatever can be taken in through the senses. A perceptive person picks up hints and
shades of meaning that others can’t perceive. Such people rely on their sharp
perceptions, their observations of whatever kind. So very often what is perceptible to
one person ---- a tiny sound, a slight change in the weather, a different tone of voice
---- will not be to another.
      susceptible: (1) open to some influence; responsive. (2) able to be submitted to
action or process
      With its prefix sus-, “up,” susceptible refers to what “takes up” or absorbs like a
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                          A New English Course (Book 6)
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sponge. When negotiating the settlement of World War II at Yalta with Churchill and
Roosevelt, Stalin may have found the other two susceptible to his threats and bullying
and thus managed to hold on to much of Eastern Europe. Students are usually
susceptible to the teaching of a strong and imaginative professor. In a similar way, a
sickly child will be susceptible to colds, and an unlucky adult will be susceptible to
back problems. ---- from Merriam-Webster’s Vocabulary Builder, p. 25..
15. The farmers successfully __________ some of the river water to irrigate their
    crops during the drought. (divert, dissipate)
16. The moderator’s good humor slowly _________ the tension that had filled the
    meeting room. (divert, dissipate)
     keys: 7. diverted 8. dissipated
     divert: (1) to turn from one purpose or course t0 another. (2) to give pleasure to
by distracting from burdens or distress.
     The Roman circus was used to provide diversion for its citizens ---- and
sometimes to divert their attention from the government’s failings as well. The
diversion was often in the form of a fight ---- men pitted against lions, bears, or each
other ---- and the audience was sure to see blood and death. A diverting evening in the
1990s might instead include watching several murders on a movie screen. ---- from
Merriam-Webster’s Vocabulary Builder, p. 296..
     dissipate: (1) to cause to spread out to the point of vanishing; disperse. (2) to
spend wastefully or foolishly; squander.
     Dissipate suggests a gradual disintegration or vanishing, as if by crumbling,
scattering, or evaporation. A police force dissipates an unruly mob. The sun dissipates
the morning mist. In its second sense, dissipate implies frittering away something
until it is exhausted. A foolish lottery winner might dissipate his or her money in
extravagant spending sprees, buying 18 Ferraris, say, or a lifetime supply of expensive
imported underwear. -------- from Merriam-Webster’s Vocabulary Builder, p. 55..
17. Franklin D. Roosevelt used the talks to popularize his economic programs and to
    give heart to the ___________ as they struggled through the Great Depression.
    (populous, populace)
18. Though often ignored by Americans, Indonesia is the fourth most ___________
    country in the world. (populous, populace)
     keys: 9. populace 10. populous
     populace: (1) the common people or masses. (2) population.
     populous: numerous, densely settled, or having a large population

II. Complete each of the following sentences with the correct form of a suitable
word chosen from the list at the head of each group.
A. accuse, charge, incriminate, indict, impeach
4. He _______ a bystander of trying to pick his pocket.
5. The House of representatives __________ President Andres Johnson of high
     crimes and misdemeanors.
6. The jury refused to __________ the men accused of arson.
      keys: 1. accused 2. impeached 3. indict
                                           14
                         A New English Course (Book 6)
                             Unit 13: Euphemisms
                          厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
      Accuse, charge, incriminate, indict, impeach denote in common to declare a
person guilty of a fault or offense. Accuse is typically immediate and personal and
often suggests directness or sharpness of imputation or censure; charge frequently
connotes seriousness in the offense and formality in the declaration… Incriminate
may mean to charge with crime or serious offense … but in current use it more often
means to involve or inculpate in crime… Indict adds to charge in legal context the
implications of a formal consideration of the evidence by a grand jury or in general
use by someone acting in the role of jury and of a decision that the accused person
should be called to trial or to an accounting… Impeach implies legally a charge of
malfeasance in office formally brought against a public officer by a branch of the
government constitutionally authorized to bring such charges.
   ---- from Webster’s New Dictionary of Synonyms, p.13.
B. hateful, odious, detestable, abominable
4. Hypocrisy is more __________ than shamelessness.
5. It was a(n) __________ face, crafty, vicious, malignant, with shifty, light gray
     eyes. (Doyle)
6. Why shouldn’t we hate what is __________ in people, and scorn what is mean?
     (Thackeray)
      keys: 1. detestable 2. odious 3. hateful
      Hateful, odious, detestable, abominable are sometimes used with little
distinction. But hateful more frequently applies to something which excites actual
hatred; odious, to something which is excessively disagreeable or which gives offense
or arouses repugnance…Something is detestable which deserves scorn or contempt…
Something is abominable which is so abhorrent as to deserve execration.
---- from Webster’s New Dictionary of Synonyms, p.395.
C. fundamental, basic, underlying, radical
4. The distinction must be made between _________ scientific research and applied
     research.
5. Fatigue nor worry nor professordom could extinguish his __________ gaiety. (J.
     M. Brown)
6. A _________ error touches the very center and source of a thing’s life.
      keys: 1. basic 2. fundamental 3. radical
      Fundamental, basic, underlying, radical are comparable when they mean
forming or affecting the groundwork, roots, or lowest part of something.
Fundamental is used chiefly in reference to immaterial things or to abstractions,
whether they are thought of as built up on a foundation or as having their origins in
roots… Basic is often used interchangeably with fundamental when the latter implies
reference to a substructure… But basic is preferred to fundamental when the
reference is to a definite or concrete groundwork, bottom, or starting point…
Underlying may be used to suggest nothing more than extension beneath something
else… However, especially when the reference is to something immaterial, the term
frequently comes close to fundamental, differing from it chiefly in suggesting a
depth that removes the thing from one’s range of vision or a remoteness that demands
study or research on the part of one who would detect it… Radical implies reference
                                         15
                           A New English Course (Book 6)
                               Unit 13: Euphemisms
                            厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
to the root or origin or ultimate source of a thing. ---- from Webster’s New Dictionary
of Synonyms, p.366.
D. illusion, delusion, hallucination, mirage
4. He recovered consciousness slowly, unwilling to let go of a pleasing __________
    that he was in Rome. (Cather)
5. Most modern great men are mere _________ sprung out of a national hunger for
    greatness. (Anderson)
6. The burglar in her room was only a(n) ________.
      keys: 1. delusion 2. illusions 3. hallucination
      Delusion, illusion, hallucination, mirage denote something which is believed to
be or is accepted as being true or real but which is actually false or unreal. Delusion
in general implies self-deception or deception by others; it may connote a disordered
state of mind, extreme gullibility, or merely an inability to distinguish between what
only seems to be and what actually is true or real… Illusion seldom implies mental
derangement or even the inability to distinguish between the true and the false; rather
it implies an ascription of truth or reality to what only seems to be true or real,
especially to the eyes… Hallucination implies the perception of visual images or, less
often, of other sensory impressions (as sounds or odors) that have no reality but are
the product of disordered sensory organs, nerves, or mind or are associated with
particular disorders (as delirium tremens or intense fever)… Mirage is comparable
with the preceding terms only in its extended sense in which it usually applies to a
vision, dream, hope, or aim which one takes as a guide, not realizing that it is merely
an illusion. ---- from Webster’s New Dictionary of Synonyms, pp.224-5.
E. see, perceive, observe, discern, contemplate
4. In order to get fresh light on this subject, I have ________ my own children
    carefully. (Russell)
5. His grave eyes steadily ____________ the good in men. (Masefield)
6. He was disgusted with every person who could not ____________ these obvious
    truths. (Bennett)
      keys: 1. observed 2. discerned 3. perceive
      See, perceive, observe, discern, contemplate can all mean to take cognizance
of something by physical or sometimes mental vision. See, the most general of these
terms, may be used to imply little more than the use of the organs of vision but more
commonly it implies a recognition or appreciation of what is before one’s eyes… The
term may imply the exercise of others powers than the sense of sight, including a
vivid imagination or mental insight…Contemplate implies little more than a fixing of
the eyes upon something, sometimes in abstraction, but more often in enjoyment or in
reference to some end in view… Observe and notice both imply a heeding and not
passing over; they commonly imply seeing but may suggest the use of another sense.
Especially in scientific use observe may carry a stronger implication of directed
attention… Perceive carries a stronger implication of the use of the mind in
observation than any of the preceding terms. The word basically implies apprehension
or obtaining knowledge of a thing, not only through the sense of sight but through any
of the senses. It is often used in place of see in the simple sense of that word, but since
                                            16
                          A New English Course (Book 6)
                              Unit 13: Euphemisms
                           厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
it always implies distinct recognition of what is seen, the words are sometimes used in
contrast, especially by psychologists… In its richer meaning perceive suggests not
only dependence on other senses than that of sight but also usually keen mental vision
or special insight and penetration… Discern often implies little more than a making
out of something by means of the eyes. In its more distinctive use the term usually
implies the powers of deeply perceiving and of distinguishing or discriminating what
the senses perceive.
                       ---- from Webster’s New Dictionary of Synonyms, pp. 717-8.
F. authentic, genuine, veritable, bona fide
4. It is a(n) _________ description of the Great Fire of London.
5. His fits of passion are __________ hurricanes.
6. She loves _________ maple syrup.
       keys: 1. authentic 2. veritable 3. genuine
       Authentic, genuine, veritable, bona fide denote being exactly what the thing in
question is said to be or professes to be. The prevailing sense of authentic is
authoritative or trustworthy with the implication of actuality or accordance with
fact… The prevailing sense of genuine is real or true often with the implication of
descent without admixture from an original stock or of correspondence without
adulteration to the natural or original product called by that name… Often the stress is
on sincerity or lack of factitiousness… Veritable implies a correspondence with truth;
it is seldom used without a suggestion of asseveration or of affirmation of belief…. It
also is applied to words or phrases used figuratively of hyperbolically to assert the
justice of the designation or of its truth in essentials… Bona fide, though often used
as though it were the equivalent of genuine or authentic, is properly applied when
good faith or sincerity is in question. ---- from Webster’s New Dictionary of Synonyms,
p.77.
G. camouflage, disguise, mask, cloak, dissemble
4. They _________ themselves as Turks for a joke.
5. Intolerance and public irresponsibility cannot be _________ in the shining armor
     of rectitude and righteousness. (A. E. Stevenson)
6. The absolute character of these dictatorships was __________ somewhat by an
     elaborate parliamentary system. (C. E. Black & E. C. Helmreich)
       keys: 1. disguise 2. cloaked 3. camouflaged
       Camouflage, disguise, mask, cloak, dissemble are comparable when meaning
to assume a dress, an appearance, or an expression that conceals one’s identity,
intention, or true feelings. Disguise, which basically implies an alteration in one’s
dress and appearance, frequently retains this implication with the added suggestion
either of concealment of identity or of the assumption. The term, however, may apply
to a feeling, an intention, or a motive when one’s words, expression, or acts imply a
contrary reaction… Cloak implies the assumption of something which covers and
conceals identity or nature… Mask implies a disguise, comparable to a covering for
the face or head, which prevents recognition of a thing’s true character, quality, or
presence… Dissemble stresses simulation for the purpose of deceiving as well as
disguising; it, therefore, is the preferred term when actual deception is achieved…
                                          17
                          A New English Course (Book 6)
                              Unit 13: Euphemisms
                           厦门大学外文学院英语系高年级教研室
Camouflage in its basic military use implies a disguising (as with paint, garnished
nets, or foliage) that reduces the visibility or conceals the nature or location of a
potential target (as a ship, a factory, or an airfield), and in its common extended use
tends to imply a comparable disguising quality or element, often specifically one that
tends to minimize some undesirable aspect. ---- from Webster’s New Dictionary of
Synonyms, p. 252.




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