Trans Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 15. Nr. September 2004

8.4. L'éducation multiculturelle ou Est-il possible de créer un espace culturel commun?
HerausgeberIn | Editor | Éditeur: Mirela Moldoveanu (Université d'Ottawa, Canada)

Buch: Das Verbindende der Kulturen | Book: The Unifying Aspects of Cultures | Livre: Les points communs des cultures

War Casualties, Friendly Fire, Intervention, and Other Treacherous Words

Carmen Velica (University of Galati, Romania)



"... if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."

(George Orwell, 1978(1))


Far from being an exhaustive study, this two-part paper presents various aspects of linguistic expressiveness pertaining to lexical indirectness and attempts at exploring the evolution of lexemes used to adjust reality, when reality is unbearable, unmentionable, or even lethal, namely, military euphemisms, in relation to different ideological and cultural spaces.



The paper (i) identifies lexemes that are 'loaded' towards or against a given set of attitudes, namely, words and phrases that have come to be called euphemisms, and (ii) analyses the pragmatic grounds on which these terms are used and their effect on individual interpretation. The paper investigates the motivational force behind euphemism use by applying several pragmatic theories. The major argument of this paper is that words and phrases euphemistically used by American and British mass media to refer to military operations not only sugar-coat harsh events but also premeditatedly modify the addressee's correct perception of reality, so that what actually happens is no longer reflected in language. Thus, language becomes corrupt, deceitful, and treacherous, choking voices, fogging minds and veiling sore spots. The more treacherous the military term, the more interesting to investigate its evolution, and the status it acquires in the large mass of vocabulary, issues that have so far not been subject to research to a very large extent.

In addition, for the purposes of this paper, the analysis will interest other levels of language analysis as well, and expand beyond the stratum of euphemisms, since there is an increasing degree of interdependence between or among expressive lexical strata.

The analysis is conducted upon a corpus of written texts pertaining to the military fields, the majority of which are newspaper articles, political or military documents, and Internet site commentaries that display a wide range of military euphemisms. Once identified, these expressive lexemes will be analysed from the point of view of motivation of use, the effect they produce and the type of context in which they occur. It will be shown that

a. there can be described several sources of euphemisms operating in the field of military activity

b. there are pragmatic theories functioning as principles governing military euphemistic use

c. military euphemisms are deliberately chosen to refer to tender spots in world conflicts.


Why not calling a war a war

Although there have been a number of authors to investigate the domain from a general point of view, there are hardly any convergent opinions or complete descriptions of euphemisms operating in the area of military activity, no matter how interesting the analysis might have been. It is the first half of the twentieth century that witnessed the first linguistic analyses of the expressive lexical stratum of euphemisms, including attempts to describe the manner in which the two main varieties of English, British English and American English, employed euphemistic terms and phrases. Little research has been done in the area of euphemisms compared to other areas of figurative language, therefore we have investigated terminology in the province of euphemisms used in / by the military. In so doing, the concepts pertaining to the concept of euphemism have been found embedded in both traditional and modern approaches in the field, namely, the theories of Fowler (1908), Mencken (1921), Levitchi (1970), Galperin (1971), Leech (1978), Warren (1992), Wilson (1993), Mills (1995), Crystal (1996), Iarovici (1999), and Hulban (2001) on euphemisms, complemented with related research online.

The area of figurative language interests referents that are not found in a dictionary definition(2). Euphemisms are part and parcel of this figurative language, and are embedded so profoundly in the language that few people, "even those who pride themselves on being plain spoken"(3), ever get through a day without using them.



Each text in the corpus will be searched in its entirety for military euphemisms. This will maximise the number of euphemisms found, and reduce the possible inconsistencies and misrepresentations. Internet searches will be used to locate certain lexemes and full texts. Synchronic and diachronic aspects will be covered, where available, possible, or pertinent. Nevertheless, we are aware of the fact that interpretation falls entirely on the reader, and depends exclusively on the text, therefore we cannot offer a universal perspective upon military euphemisms, since different readers interpret euphemisms differently, on the basis of variables of individual and cultural space such as age, education, sex, ethnic background, political and religious affiliation, the last three of which counting as ideology.

More, the list of euphemisms that we will analyse makes no claim to being exhaustive due to the great amount of words and phrases which are permanently in use. More, users create new language every day, therefore the possibility to completely describe a euphemism, or exhaust the number or categories of euphemisms is excluded from the beginning.


The corpus

The analysis is conducted upon a corpus organised at two levels:

i. the level of language / langue, comprising dictionary, thesauri, and lexicon definitions, on which the inventory of WAR lexemes is based (mainly, dictionaries of euphemisms - Rawson, H. Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk, Crown Publishers, New York, 1981, and Holder, R.W. A Dictionary of American and British Euphemisms: the Language of Evasion, Hypocricy, Prudery and Deceit, Bath University Press, Bath, 1987).

ii. the level of speech / parole, for which we analyse slang lexemes pertaining to the WAR field. At this level, warfare is best traced in media, because war is always news.

Due to this, the corpus on which this present paper is largely based is taken from the Internet via the search engines Google and MSN. They offer around 245,059 American English and British English sites connected to WAR, from which we have selected material written since the 1970s: newspaper and journal articles, official political and military documents, written media articles, and activist sites articles press releases, personal documents made available to the public, tape scripts of radio and TV broadcasts, e-mails, chat rooms, etc.

However, in spite of the incredibly interesting range of topics, formats, and functions, it is reasonably understandable that only some texts will be discussed, hopefully the most representative ones. The selection is operated by the Internet engines themselves, the texts chosen enjoying high ranking among the reviewers and readers. In addition, all terms and phrases under discussion will be investigated in terms of frequency and range of contexts by running concordance listings in the corpora electronically available. Therefore, we shall look up the lexemes in the electronic corpora available:

- The Collins Wordbanks Online English Corpus (CWOEC) of 56 million words of contemporary written and spoken text selected from the Bank of English, including British and American books, newspapers, magazines, transcribed speech and ephemera(4); it comprises British books, ephemera, radio, newspapers, magazines (26m words), American books, ephemera and radio (9m words), British transcribed speech (10m words), its main concern with British and American English being the main reason for which we have chosen it;

- The British National Corpus (BNC), a 100-million-word collection of samples of written and spoken language from a wide range of sources, designed to represent a wide cross-section of current British English, both spoken and written(5), a corpus chosen in order to compare and contrast the lexemes analysed in this paper.

The reference material written on euphemism clearly underlines that the manner in which people use euphemisms to talk about warfare is a direct reflection of political and military concerns, namely, personal linguistic choices are actual products of circumstantial political and military pressures. Grice's Cooperative Principle, the Relevance theory, Face theory, and the Principle of Politeness will be applied to military euphemisms found in the corpus.

The military euphemisms in the corpus

Given the fact that an inventory of euphemistic terms can be found in any dictionary of euphemisms (see above), we shall use two principles of investigation: frequency and coverage.

In other words, we shall select euphemistic terms and phrases with high frequency and extensive coverage. According to these principles, the following military euphemisms are used the most frequently: ethnic cleansing, casualties, ground zero, friendly fire, operation, target, to incapacitate, operative, collateral (support/damage/loses), sniper, agent, conflict, detainee, intelligence, sanction.

When looked for in the electronic corpora specified above (p. 7) the concordance listings offer interesting linguistic data, synthesised in the table below:


1. Ethnic cleansing

Over 40

2. Casualties

Over 40

3. Ground zero


4. Friendly fire

Over 40

5. Operation

Over 40

6. Target

Over 40

7. Incapacitate


8. Operative

Over 40

9. Collateral

Over 40

10. Sniper

Over 40

11. Agent

Over 40

12. Conflict

Over 40

13. Detainee


14. Intelligence

Over 40

15. Sanction

Over 40


There are a number of observations that must be made at this point, connected to frequency and coverage. Firstly, these terms are very frequently used, and belong to the English core vocabulary. On the one hand, they belong to military jargon as well, therefore we can assume that they have migrated either from centre to vocabulary margins, or vice versa; we believe that casualty/-ies, detainee, collateral damage, and ground zero belong to the latter category, since their denote military referents.

Secondly, there are differences between the number of contexts as indicated in CWOEC and BNC, therefore these terms do not have the same frequency in World Standard English and British English. As for the American National Corpus, no search is available until 2007, therefore we must rely on data provided by other corpora.

Lastly, for each term there have been identified collocations specific to military parlance occurring with the following coverage of number of contexts in CWOEC, the table showing that some collocations are overused (abused, perhaps?), while others are less frequent (taboo, perhaps?):


Ethnic + cleansing


Civilian + casualties


Ground + zero


Friendly + fire


Surveillance + operation


Shooting + target


Incapacitate + Iraqi


CIA + operative


Collateral + damage


Window + sniper


Secret + agent


Iraq + conflict


Political + detainees


Military + intelligence


International + sanction


However, apart from these frequent terms and phrases, the analysis will interest other euphemisms as well, since there are lexemes whose interesting meaning resists high frequency, or extensive coverage.


Principles of pragmatics

Since the need for military euphemisms appears to be tightly bound to pragmatic concerns, several pragmatic theories will be proposed to account for the use of such expressive lexical strata. At the same time, it is essential to appreciate the context in which the terms are used, and to understand not only the linguistic dynamics of the text, but also political, historic and social factors that lead to euphemising.

1. Grice's Cooperative Principle and Relevance Theory

Unlike the primitive societies, in which the mere mention of supernatural entities or of the dead was feared to bring about the wrath of such beings(6), in modern societies motivation is not such fears, it is more concerned with not harming the sensitivities of the parties involved in communication. Traumatized veterans are said to have been suffering from shell shock, but after World War II, people began to use the term combat fatigue to characterize the same condition The phrase is a bit more pleasant, but it still acknowledges combat as the source of discomfort. In the wake of the Vietnam War, people referred to post-traumatic stress disorder(7): a phrase that is completely disconnected from the reality of war altogether.

One of the pragmatic principles that could explain euphemism use is Grice's Cooperative Principle. It consists of four sub-principles called maxims, and is elaborated on the assumption that cooperation is pervasive in conversation(8):

The cooperative principle: Make your conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged.
The maxims
1. Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange).
2. Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.
Quality Try to make your contribution one that is true.
1. Do not say what you believe to be false.
2. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.
Relation Be relevant
Manner Be perspicuous.
1. Avoid obscurity of expression.
2. Avoid ambiguity.
3. Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity).
4. Be orderly.

It is important to recognize these maxims as unstated assumptions that we have in conversations, and that people normally provide an appropriate amount of information; it is also assumed that people tell the truth, being relevant, and that they are as clear as they can. From this point of view, all euphemisms violate the cooperative principle and its maxims. For instance, the following words and phrases violate the maxim of manner by offering information in a manner which is not perspicuous:

- permissive environment [unchallenging territory from the military point of view],
- border protection [deploying the Navy to intercept boats loaded with desperate Afghans and Iraqis],
- caught in the cross-fire [women and children shot dead by soldiers],
- ethnic cleansing [extermination, genocide],
- administrative detention [imprisonment without charge or trial],
- generous offer [demand for surrender],
- incursion [attacking with tanks and planes],
- Arab-Israeli War [Arab - Israeli and the U.S.]
- settlements [confiscated Palestinian land],
- air campaign [aircraft bombing],
- civilian casualties [innocent people death],
- friendly-fire [death inadvertently caused to one's own troops]
- Operation Infinite Justice [the U. S. - Afghanistan war, 2002],
- effective expressions of support [warfare help], and so many others.

For many readers / hearers, these words are not loaded unless given in a context pertaining to the conflict situation in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. It is only in military and political discourse that these words and phrases are combined to conceal the truth (their hidden meaning is given in brackets). It is also true that these euphemisms, as so many others, violate the maxim of quantity by containing too little information on the referent: the intention is to minimise the effect that strong words might have on the reader / hearer. Thus, military discourse never use words like guilt, murder, assassination, retreat, spy, torture, lie, siege, mistake or invasion, for fear these lexemes might raise awareness of what really happens in the conflict area. Instead, the 'innocent' public can remain innocent, with sensitivities intact, never knowing the truth. In so doing, language is no longer informational, it becomes a propaganda tool, meant to hide too harsh a reality. The maxims of quality and relation are also breached, since the information presented is neither true, nor relevant. As a result, when a speaker / writer breaks one or more maxims, the interlocutor(s) can infer more from language than is explicitly stated, and they search for motivation and inference(9), therefore what is meant, not stated.

On the other hand, Sperber and Wilson(10) rethink Grice's maxim of relation, arguing that pragmatics needs only one principle, that of relevance, which says that every utterance creates in the addressee an expectation of relevance. The underlying assumption is that what is said is relevant, and that the theory is considered as being without exception irrefutable:

"Communicators do not 'follow' the principle of relevance; and they could not violate it even if they wanted to. The principle of relevance applies without exceptions..."(11)

The theory has been criticised(12) because it says very little about real communicative interaction, and does not include the social dimensions of language. If we were to apply it, we would say that the addressee should use inference strategies to clear meaning, while the addresser should use implicating strategies to make meaning clear. In our opinion, the whole matter refers to the fact that the addresser does not want to be relevant, because this might induce a negative impression upon the addressee. In other words, the addresser tries to 'save face'.

2. Face theory and Politeness Theory

The notion of 'face' is discussed in pragmatics as a two-fold dimension, both connected to a person's public self-image(13), or face wants:

- positive face, the need to be accepted, liked by the others, treated as a member of the same group, and

- negative face, a person's want to be independent, free, not imposed on by the others.

Consequently, if a person says something that represents a threat to another individual expectations regarding self-image, it is described as a face-threatening act. Alternatively, given the possibility that some action might be decoded as a threat to another's face, the speaker can say something to lessen the possible threat, that is, a face-saving act. For example, as it can be seen from Appendices section, all texts have been constructed to threat the enemy's face, or save the writer's own face. We could say that the texts are hardly objective, except Text 25(14) (Appendix II), but taking into consideration the fact that this official report is released by a prominent U. S. government-related site, the Project on Defense Alternatives, it is difficult to believe that the writer is completely unbiased. The study claims that U.S. bombing in Afghanistan had killed civilians at a rate four times higher than the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. By January 1 2002, the report calculated, between 1,000 and 1,300 civilians had been killed. The bombing campaign "failed to set a new standard for accuracy" because of the mix of weapons used, the unreliable nature of intelligence and the decision to bomb al-Qaida and Taliban leaders in their houses, where little margin of error existed. Apart from this text, however, the rest of the corpus is suffused with ideology and it is easy to detect face-saving and face-threatening articles. For example, Text 26 (Appendix II) offers a clear case of face-saving strategy in the choice of structures used to justify the U.S. policy in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990: key friendly states in the region [Israel and Saudi Arabia], our allies [NATO strategic alliance], effective expressions of support [troops and finance in the war effort], a commitment to the security and stability of the Persian Gulf [permanent U.S. troops in the region], our allies and friends [they are not one and the same thing?], other fora [the word seems to exist in American English only, the plural form of forum], prohibiting transactions [economic embargo], to show restraint vs. to exercise restraint [the American public should exercise it, the oil companies should show it], other friendly states in the Gulf region [Israel, but mentioning it directly could probably irritate both the public and some lobbies in the Congress, so Pres. Bush uses a periphrasis], and other examples.

Also, the Pentagon has recently stopped all references to kill and number killed in official releases. Instead, casualties is the word preferred in press releases, thus concealing choice and responsibility. Moreover, the number of casualties was a non-subject in the ongoing war in Afghanistan, which was rather sporadically covered by news-readers and of which we did not hear much. A new choice of lexemes is in vogue in news broadcast: enemies are not humans but soft targets; when bombs are dropped, they are reported as dropped by aircrafts and not by humans, either by identifying the codified type of the aircraft, or by naming it (for example, F16, or the Puma). If the wrong building is hit (moreover than not, a civil target), it is the military equipment to blame. It is not about humans who are vulnerable, it is about weapons that can be vulnerable and cause unhappy accidents. On TV, in 1990 the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was reported on in terms of murder, theft and rape. The American invasion of Iraq has never been discussed in terms of murder, assault, and arson. Comparatively, Islamic article writers threaten face when ridiculing euphemisms like the Arab - Israeli War, Middle East peace process, honest broker, terrorism, military edge, and constructive engagement(15).

On the other hand, if we analyse ideologies on the other side, that is, socialist dogma advocated in leftist Internet sites(16), we can see face-threatening strategies, namely the use of strong words and avoidance of euphemisms. Thus, military jargon excludes taboo words such as onslaught, murder, torture, destruction, evacuate, killings, terror, manslaughter, abuse; nevertheless, these terms are used to impress the reader and induce a negative impression (murder is used 9 times, while killing(s) amounts to 13 in Text 15). When euphemisms are used, they are meant to obtain the same response: ethnic cleansing is used 9 times in texts no. 16, 17, and 18, in key paragraphs.

Theoretically speaking again, within the same culture it is possible to be tactful about certain norms and principles existent in the society at large, using the appropriate means to show awareness of another person's face. Politeness is the principle governing the norms of appropriateness in communication, and aims to avoid offence and be respectful to the audience(17). By using euphemisms, the military discourse avoids enraging, or outranging the public, unless this is really meant, and makes world conflicts and military activities more agreeable.

Therefore, it becomes clear that ideology is a critical factor in the motivation for euphemism use and types of euphemism employed. In the case of military euphemisms, the most important part is played by the media, whose means of manipulation include the use of such terms in order to conceal the truth. Analysing media manipulation, however, falls outside the aim of this paper.



A search for strategies of 'adjusting' reality has given us an insight into the way reality is distorted by political and military discourse and the language of media in British English and American English as far as matters of world conflict are concerned.

We have analysed a number of texts representative for the corpora of military euphemisms employed in the media written in English, especially the texts belonging to British and American authors. The aim of the analysis has been to identify military euphemisms in current use in the main varieties of English, British English and American English. The euphemisms have been analysed and from the pragmatic perspective with a view to investigate the connection between euphemism interpretation and cultural space.

The observations can be summed up as following:

a. Grice's Cooperative principle and Face theory are vital in understanding why military euphemisms are used, the theories evincing the motivation and intention beneath so many dishonest terms used in military discourse.

b. the corpora gathered permits the outsider a deeper understanding of the ways in which truth is concealed for the sake of military ideology and state policy. The most important aspect is meaning generated in the case of military euphemisms as a result of the interaction between text and addressees who seldom share the same functional linguistic code. As far as classified documents are concerned, all text addressees share the code, thus the text functioning in its predicted parametres. In this respect, all participants use military terms in the same manner, which leads to an exclusion of the idea of manipulation or hidden meaning. Comparatively, the analysis done so far has showed that even in the case of a common cultural space, namely the American and the British ones, respectively, participants hardly take for granted terms referring to sensitive issues such as the U.S. troops being involved in world conflicts.

On the other hand, once such texts have become public, or are targeted at the great majority of the audience by means of the media, the military terms in question seem to be part of a 'double' linguistic code, in which what is implied is more important, if veiled and understated, than what is actually said or written. The addressees do not necessarily share the code, they are mere recipients of the text and, what is dangerous, they gradually internalise the code items, unconditionally and sometimes unconsciously, as if the terms really denoted reality.

It is true that military lexemes belong to the military jargon, and are used within the military circles and by the military. However, one might question the additional ideological component of meaning lying underneath, since jargon terms do not connote reality in a manipulative way. For instance, even if used metaphorically, mouse, crane, deep surface, successor, and stimulus are jargon terms whose references do not trigger any ideological bias. Nor have these lexemes caused any loss of lives or endangered peace. Contrastively, the meaning of operation, terrorist, casualty, freedom fighter, and sanction depends on the ideology and cultural milieu in which the participants to the code operate. Therefore, it is according to the different ideological and cultural space the participants belong to that the text can be understood and assessed.

To conclude, political and military doubletalk is intentionally deceiving, and military euphemisms are used "to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind"(18). Moreover, we should say that euphemisms used repeatedly deceive not only the hearer / reader, but also the speaker / writer, as they gradually begin to believe it is the truth they tell. Again, another quest for individual identity: are we THE DECEIVERS or THE DECEIVED?

© Carmen Velica (University of Galati, Romania)


(1) Orwell, G., "Political Euphemism", in Escholz, P., Rosa, A. and Clark, V. (eds.), Language Awareness, New York, St. Martin's Press Inc., 1978

(2) Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M., Metaphors We Live By, Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press, 1980

(3) Rawson, H., Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk, New York, Crown Publishers, 1981, p.1

(4) Cf. URL:<>

(5) Cf. URL:<>

(6) Greenough, R.B. and Kittredge, G.L., Words and Their Ways, London, The MacMillan Company, 1928

(7) Neaman and Silver, op. cit. p. 344

(8) In early lectures, and later, partly still unpublished writings. The presentation given here follows Grice, P., "Logic and Conversation" in Cole, P. and Morgan, J. L. (eds.), Syntax and Semantics Volume 3: Speech Acts, Academic Press, 1975, p. 48

(9) Widdowson, H. G., Aspects of Language Teaching, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1990

(10) Sperber, D. and Wilson, D., Relevance: communication and cognition, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1986, p. 158

(11) Sperber, D. and Wilson, D., op. cit., p. 162

(12) Mey, J.L., Pragmatics - An Introduction, Oxford U.K and Cambridge U.S.A., Blackwell Publishers, 1993, pp. 80-82

(13) Yule, G., Pragmatics, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 61-62

(14) Carl Conetta, "Operation Enduring Freedom: Why a Higher Rate of Civilian Bombing Casualties", Cambridge, MA: Commonwealth Institute, Project on Defense Alternatives Briefing Report #11, 18 January 2002 (revised 24 January 2002). URL:<>. Last use Oct. 2003

(15) Appendix II, Text 8

(16) Appendix II, Texts 15 and 16

(17) Brown, P. and Levinson, S. C., Politeness: some universals in language use, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1987

(18) Rawson, H., Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk, New York, Crown Publishers, 1981, p.4


Printed books and articles

Brown, P. and Levinson, S. C., Politeness: some universals in language use, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1987

Conetta, C.,"Operation Enduring Freedom: Why a Higher Rate of Civilian Bombing Casualties", Cambridge, MA: Commonwealth Institute, Project on Defense Alternatives Briefing Report #11, 18 January 2002 (revised 24 January 2002). URL: <>. Last use: Oct. 2002

Crystal, D., The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 1996

Galperin, I.R., Stylistics, Moscow, Higher School Publishing House, 1971

Greenough, R.B. and Kittredge, G.L., Words and Their Ways, London, The MacMillan Company, 1928

Grice, P., "Logic and Conversation" in Cole, P. and Morgan, J. L. (eds.) Syntax and Semantics Volume 3: Speech Acts, Academic Press, 1975

Hulban, H., Syntheses in English Lexicology and Semantics, Iasi, Editura SPANDA, 2001

Iarovici, E., Engleza americana, Bucuresti, Teora ,1999

Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M., Metaphors We Live By, Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press, 1980

Lakoff, G., Metaphor and War: the Metaphor System Used to Justify War in the Gulf,

URL: <>. Last use: Oct. 2003

Leech, G. Semantics, Penguin Books, 1978

Leviþchi, L., Limba engleza contemporana. Lexicologie. Bucuresti, Editura Didactica si Pedagogica, 1970

Mencken, H.L., The American Language, 1921. URL: <>

Mey, J.L., Pragmatics - An Introduction, Oxford U.K and Cambridge U.S.A., Blackwell Publishers, 1993

Neaman, J.S. and Silver, C.G. (eds.), The Wordsworth Book of Euphemism, Hertfordshire, Wordsworth Reference, 1995

Orwell, G., "Political Euphemism", in Escholz, P., Rosa, A. and Clark, V. (eds.) Language Awareness, New York , St. Martin's Press Inc., 1978

Sperber, D. and Wilson, D., Relevance: communication and cognition, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1986

Ullmann, S., "Semantic Universals", in Greenberg, J. (ed.), Universals of Language, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 1963

Warren, B., "What euphemisms tell us about the interpretations of words", Studia Linguistica, Vol. 46/2, 1992

Williams, J.M., Origins of the English Language, New York, Free Press, 1957, pp. 200-202, in Neaman, J.S. and Silver, C.G. (eds.), The Wordsworth Book of Euphemism, Hertfordshire, Wordsworth Reference, 1995

Wilson, K.G., The Columbia Guide to Standard American English, Columbia University Press, 1993

Widdowson, H. G., Aspects of Language Teaching, Oxford University Press, 1990

Yule, G., Pragmatics, Oxford University Press, 1997

Electronic sources




Holder, R.W. The Faber Dictionary of Euphemisms, London, Faber,1989

Rawson, H. Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk, New York, Crown Publishers, 1981

Oxford English Dictionary 2 on CD-ROM, version 1.10, Oxford University Press, 1994

Appendix I





Appendix II

internet Text Sources:

Text 1 - : <>
Text 2 - Source: <>
Text 3 - : <>
Text 4 - : <!euphemisms.html>
 Text 5 - : <>
Text 6 - : <>
Text 7 - : <>
Text 8 - : <>
Text 9 - : <>
Text 10 - Source: <>
Text 11 - : <>
Text 12 - : <>
Text 13 - : <,3858,4477606,00.html>
Text 14 - : <>
Text 15 - : <>
Text 16 - : <>
Text 17 - : <>
Text 18 - : <>
Text 19 - : <,2763,914020,00.html>
Text 20 - : <,11816,920644,00.html>
Text 21 - : <,1294,47447,00.html>
Text 22 - Source: <>
Text 23 - Source: <>
Text 24 - : <>
Text 25 - : <>
Text 26 - Source:

8.4. L'éducation multiculturelle ou Est-il possible de créer un espace culturel commun?

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