Euphemisms and Context: Social Research Essay

Euphemisms and Context: Social Research Essay

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The names of animals, plants, food and other lexical sources are used metaphorically to describe human beings or their activities. These names can be used either positively as terms of approval or conversely, they may signify negativity and disapproval. Such idiomatic descriptions when used between people can be seen as a way to “express and reinforce their bonds, their sense of being “at home” with each other” (Altman 1990: 504). This rich and dynamic source of polysemy may change between different groups and cultures, as well as contexts; for example the working environment versus personal life, including family, and friends. One theorist differentiates context into two categories, local context and topical context (Miller & Leacock, 2000). While another divides context into four groups - local, sentinential, topical and global context (Dash, 2005).

To understand linguistics completely it is essential to explore different contexts. This is done by disambiguating connotations and extracting their meanings; thus providing a clearer understanding about how colloquialisms should be used and how they were formed. Although the meaning of words may vary in two different contexts euphemisms generally stay the same in colloquial language. Even in different countries, some words are still used in the same metaphorical ways. The following study will identify these words and how they can be linked to different contexts.

1. Materials
The research conducted used online search engines such as Google and University library databases. As well as an online survey builder to construct a quantitative and qualitative survey and ask questions via social media.
2. Participants
The most prominent ethical issues were resea...

... middle of paper ...

...ogical, and Typological Perspectives in Cognitive Linguistics, Amsterdam,Benjamins, 9-23.

-Altman, M. (1990): “How not to do things with metaphors we live by”, College English, 52: 495-506.

De Gregorio, d.M. 1973, "Generational differences in the use of euphemisms", Thesaurus, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 14-28.
- Deignan, A. (2003): “metaphorical expressions and culture: an indirect link”, metaphor and symbol, 18:255-271.

-Maalej, Z. (2004): “Figurative language in anger expressions in Tunisian Arabic: An extended view of embodiment”, Metaphor and Symbol, 19(1): 51-75

-Talebinejad, M; H. Dastjerdi (2005): “A cross-cultural study of animal metaphors: When owls are not wise!”, Metaphor and symbol, 20: 133-150.

-López Rodríguez, I. (2009) “Of women, bitches, chickens and vixens: animal metaphors for women in English and Spanish”, Cultura, Lenguaje y Representación.

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