Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vocabulary to know

One of my esteemed colleagues in the English department has taken the opportunity to use recent events as a teachable moment. Pinned to the corkboard is the Daily Californian's write-up of the most recent Wheeler Hall protest and Chancellor Birgeneau's afore-quoted message citing concern for the "health and safety" of the protesters, viz.
from: Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor
to: "Staff, All Academic Titles, Academic Senate Faculty, Students,"
date: Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 4:06 PM
subject: Wheeler Hall closed

The campus is dealing with a health and safety issue in Wheeler Hall and the building is closed. All classes and events scheduled in Wheeler Hall for this afternoon/evening are cancelled until further notice.

Appended is an entry from the OED:

euphemism, n. 1.Rhetoric. That figure of speech which consists in the substitution of a word or expression of comparatively favourable implication or less unpleasant associations, instead of the harsher or more offensive one that would more precisely designate what is intended.

Im in ur university. Teaching ur students rhetoric.

Both images lovingly shot in institutional fluorescent lighting using a crappy Samsung cell phone.

I couldn't help being pleased to notice that one of the OED's usage examples came from nineteenth-century naturalist, beard-sporter, opinionated guy, and erstwhile theosophist/psychic Elliott Coues:
1877    E. Coues Fur-bearing Animals vii. 216 The Skunk yields a handsome fur, lately become fashionable, under the euphemism of ‘Alaska Sable’.


Catherine said...

I missed this posting somehow. Fabulous. Sometimes our department really does restore my faith in . . . if not humanity, then a few people. Y'know?

Natalia said...

It's right by the southeast stairwell!