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Euphemisms of the thematic group “warfare” in modern British periodicals

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2018. Vol. 7. No. 1. Pp. 30-37.
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Zaitseva E. D.
Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia
6 Miklouho-Maclay Street, 117198 Moscow, Russia


The media is the main source of information for ordinary citizens, who are interested in the world news. However, it should be remembered that the newspapers and magazines try to attract attention to the message with the special language and speech means that induce the audience to definitely respond to the information received. Wars, genocide, terrorist acts, as well as other manifestations of violence towards innocent people, are widely discussed by all mass media. Euphemisms are used to describe such cruel events in the press, mitigating the negative impact on the reader. Therefore, euphemistic speech is a phenomenon of a wide social order that is used to describe controversial events that cause negative emotions and feelings. There are several thematic classifications of euphemisms that differ in the categories that are singled out. Euphemisms that enable to substitute taboo words with adequate accuracy are one of the main instruments of the up-to-date politically correct behavior. Euphemisms are considered in the article from the linguoculturological perspective. As a result of the linguoculturological study, the total of 10 622 politically correct euphemisms were detected. The euphemisms were divided into several thematic classifications. The biggest thematic category (3762 elements - 35%) is the “Warfare” group, which is included in all existing thematic classifications. In this work, on the basis of the found euphemism, the use and formation of euphemisms in periodicals, concerning wars and genocide will be analyzed and illustrated. The most widely spread formation means of thematic group of euphemisms “War” are periphrases, reinterpretation, word composition and word blending, affixation, and transfer of meaning. According to this study, a new phenomenon of the 21st century is the euphemization of the additional thematic group “terrorist acts”, which is a clear proof of the “following” of linguistic development for the development of the modern society.


  • • euphemism
  • • political correctness
  • • euphemistic synonym
  • • antecedent
  • • thematic group
  • • thematic classification of euphemisms


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