来源:岁月联盟 作者:林珊 时间:2010-10-06

[Abstract] The word “euphemism” comes from the Greek, eu--means “good”, and –pheme-, “speech” or “saying”, and together it means literally “to speak with good words or in a pleasant manner”. Euphemism, as a cultural phenomenon as well as a linguistic concept, has attracted people’s attention for a long time. It has long been a topic of much interest. Generally speaking, people would use more euphemisms in communicating with the opposite sex; women would use more than men would; older people would use more than younger generations. People would more use euphemisms in "power" relations than in close relations. People with higher education would use more euphemisms. The above factors: age, sex, social status, education, etc. do not work separately. In communicating, they are interlaced with each other and guide our choice of euphemisms. Whether to use euphemisms or taboo words also depends, to a large extent, on the attitudes of participants (particularly speakers) and the purpose of conversations. The article  consists of six parts. Part one explains what the meaning of euphemism is. Part two is saying the Cooperative Principle in briefly. Cooperative Principle, the cornerstone theory of pragmatics, is one of the main principles that guide people’s communication. The Cooperative Principle and its maxims can explain what the literal meaning is and its real intention in communication and ensure that in an exchange of conversation. Part three presents, the formation euphemism, namely, formal innovation, semantic innovation, rhetorical devices, and grammatical ways. Part four discusses the communicative function of euphemism is substitution, politeness, disguise, defense, etc. Part five serves as the main body of this article. Generally speaking, euphemisms violate the Quality, Quantity and Manner Maxim of the CP due to different reasons like substitution, disguise etc. And basically euphemisms observe the Relation Maxim. From the analysis, it can be also found that sometimes an euphemism can be regarded as violation of two maxims of the CP at the same time. Part six concludes the whole article.
[Key Words] Cooperative Principle; Euphemism; Communicative function

【摘 要】委婉语(euphemism)一词起源于希腊语。Eu意思是“好的”,pheme意思是“话语”,因此字面上的意思是说好听的话或用礼貌的方式说话。委婉语是一个语言学概念,同时也是一种文化现象,长久以来一直受到人们的关注。总体上讲人们在与异性进行言语交际时,要比在同性面前更多地使用委婉语,女性要比男性更多地使用委婉语,年长的人要比年青的人更多地使用委婉语。人们在“权势关系”的语境中往往要比在“亲密关系”的语境中更多地使用委婉语。受程度越高的人,越注意自己的言谈,因而更多地使用委婉语。上述因素年龄、性别、社会地位、教育等并不孤立存在,在交际中,他们交织在一起决定着委婉语的使用。是否使用委婉语还要考虑说话者的态度和交谈的目的。文章由六个部分组成。第一部分解释了什么是委婉语。第二部分简单列出合作原则的各项原则。它作为语用学的理论基石之一,是指导人们语言交际的原则之一。它可以很好地解释话语的字面意义和实际意义的关系,这对于交际委婉语显得尤为重要。第三部分说明委婉语的构成可以有很多种方式:形式变化,语义变化,修辞手段和语法手段。第四部分阐述了交际委婉语出于替代、掩饰、和礼貌等功能。第五部分是文章的主体,并说明委婉语出于替代、掩饰、和礼貌等原因主要违反了合作原则中的质、量和方式三个次则,基本上是遵循了合作原则中的相关原则。第六部分全文。
【关键字】合作原则; 委婉语; 交际功能

1. Introduction
  In the Oxford Advanced Learner’s English – Chinese Dictionary the explanation of Euphemism is "(example of the) use of pleasant, mild or indirect words or phrases in place of more accurate or direct ones"[1]. And in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English the explanation of Euphemism is "(an example of) the use of  a pleasanter, less direct name for something thought to be unpleasant"[2]. For example, the man who wants to us to call him a “sanitation engineer” instead of a “garbage man” is hoping we will treat him with more respect than we presently do.
  "The word 'euphemism' comes from the Greek eu meaning 'good' and pheme meaning 'speech' or 'saying', and thus means literally 'to speak with good words or in a pleasant manner'"[3]. Euphemisms have various reasons for existence. They conceal the things people fear the most—death, the dead, the supernatural. They cover up the facts of life—of sex and reproduction and excretion—which inevitably remind even the most refined people that they are made of clay, or worse. They are beloved by individuals and institutions (governments, especially) that are anxious to present only the handsomest possible images of themselves to the world. And they are imbedded so deeply in our language that few of us, even those who pride themselves on being plainspoken, ever get through a day without using them. But some people still mistake the euphemisms in the conversation by the Cooperative principle. Violating the CP, people also can continue the conversation with euphemisms, which make the author interest in attitudes of participants and the purpose of conversation. That is our body today.

2.Formation of euphemisms
2.1 Formal innovation
 To avoid the emergence of certain letter or sound may achieve the effect of euphemizing. The formal innovation can hide audio-visually those words we don’t want to say or we shouldn’t say so as to achieve better outcome in communication.
  Abbreviation is the shortening of a word and may be seen in the use of the British expression LADIES for ladies’ room. There also is GENTS for gentlemen’s room.
2.1.2 Apocopation
  Apocopation is another form of abbreviation apparent in the use of vamp for vampire here meaning a seductive woman. And lav is for lavatory; homo is for homosexual; coca is for cocaine; bra is for brassiere.
2.1.3 Initialing
  Initialing is the use of acronyms instead of their component parts as in "JC for “Jesus Christ”, BM for bowel movement"[4], "W.C for water closet, B.O for body odor, V.D for venereal disease, AIDS for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, SARS for severe acute respiratory syndrome"[5].
2.1.4 Backforming
  Backforming is the substitution for one part of speech (used in shortened form) for another, as in "burgle (rob) which is derived from 'burglar'"[6].
2.1.5 Reduplication
  Reduplication is the repetition of a syllable or letter of a word. Particularly common in children’s bathroom vocabulary, it substitutes "pee-pee for'piss', poo-poo for 'bowel movement'"[7].
2.1.6 Blend word
  A blend word is a form of phonetic distortion in which two or more words are squeezed together both orthographically and phonetically. An example of this is "gezunda for a chamber pot, a term derived from the fact that this object 'goes under the bed'"[8].
2.1.7 Diminutive
  A diminutive is the formation of a new term by nicking or shortening a name and adding a suffix indicating affection or smallness. "Heinie, for example, is the diminutive of 'hind end' and refers to the buttocks"[9].
2.2 Semantic innovation
2.2.1 Borrowing
    Most obviously, euphemisms may be formed by borrowing words from other languages—terms that are less freighted with negative associations. Thus, we use Greek and Latin expressions for many bodily parts and functions. We have coined halitosis (bad breath) from the Latin (halitus) for “breath” and we have substituted micturition for the more vulgar Indo-European “Piss”. In addition, English euphemisms also borrowed a lot of scientific or academic terms, which are believed to be more euphemistic and objective than the usual terms, such as magnetic for “sexy” and perspire for “sweat” and so on.
2.2.2 Widening
    Euphemisms may be made by a semantic process called widening. When a specific term becomes too painful or vivid, we move up in the ladder of abstraction. In this way, cancer becomes growth and a girdle becomes a foundation . Sometimes, in addition to widening we divide the negative connotations of a single direct term between two or more words. Instead of saying “syphilis” openly, we speak of a social disease.
2.2.3 Semantic shift
    Allied to the phenomenon of widening is that of semantic shift. This is the substitution of the whole, or a similar generality, for the specific part we do not choose to discuss. We may create such metonymies (substitutions of the whole for the part) as rear end for “buttocks”. Sometimes, as in the expressions "to sleep with/go to bed with someone"[10], we use words naming the larger event in place of more precise references to the sexual relations that are part of the process.
2.3 Rhetorical devices
2.3.1 Metaphor
    Euphemisms may be made by a process called metaphorical transfer, the comparison of things of one kind to things of another. The euphemisms chosen are often romanticizing, poeticizing and softening of the original words like "go to sleep;     go to his long home; be home and free; rest in peace; be at rest; go to Heaven/Paradise; join one's ancestors; be gathered to one's fathers; join the immorals for die"[11], shock for random bombing, constructive destruction for severe damage, have a road to travel for have a long time to reach an agreement and etc..
2.3.2 Aposiopesis
    In English, there is a kind of rhetoric called aposiopesis that can also act as the way of euphemizing. When we think we should not say something under certain conditions, we suddenly stop as when we say someone is out (of work); she is expecting (a baby); "to take precautions (against pregnancy); to depart (from this world)"[12]
    Analogy can often be seen in the vocabularies of work. A tendency to elevate menial or unskilled jobs—sometimes substituting a grand title for a large salary—can make offal smell like a rose by promoting garbage men to sanitation engineers or even to waste--reduction managers. By implication, they become highly trained technicians and executives. Health-club staffs become fitness coordinators, and senators now have their shoes shined by the footwear maintenance engineer, formerly the Senate bootblack. Even if you are not a government official, your janitor is now your buiding maintenance engineer.
2.3.4 Understatement
    Understatement displays people’s desire to make their language less painful and direct. So there is never an ugly woman in this world, she is at least plain. Teachers only tell parents that their child is a bit slow for his age, not retarded. And call senior citizen for old person. "Take other's things without permission" can be instead of "steal".
2.3.5 Periphrasis
    Periphrasis is just beating around the bush. People often say euphemisms are weasel words, because people never call a spade a spade when using euphemisms.   Fart is not pleasant to ear, so people call it wind from the behind. Someone wants you to go away, but he only says he will call your carriage for you. Someone living at the government expense may make you envy him, but actually he is in prison. "Many sayings about going to WC make a good use of periphrasis like wash one’s hands, powder one’s nose, spend a penny. So do the 'drop' for 'adjustment downward'[13]"
2.4. Grammatical ways
    According to Bolinger, "Euphemism is not restricted to the lexicon. There are grammatical ways of toning something down”. Therefore, euphemizing should not be limited to lexical ways; it can also be achieved by grammatical ways.
2.4.1 Tense
    In English, tense can lend a little euphemistic color to the expressions for something undesired. Especially when people use want, hope, think and wonder or words like that they may also make use of the tense to sound more euphemistically. For example, I wondered if you would mind helping me? or "I wondered if you could help me?"[14]. Asking help this way, people won’t feel so embarrassed if they were refused.
2.4.2 Syntactical negation
    This method can lesson the painful impact of the language that is not welcomed. We say she is not pretty (Actually she is very ugly), but that is acceptable, because not pretty does not equal to “ugly”, it could be “plain” too. Not pretty has a wider range of meaning than ugly. Similar usages are as the following: I don’t think, I am afraid, I am not sure, I don't like,etc.
2.4.3 First personal pronouns
    The use of first personal pronouns like we, ours, us, etc, can also make our speeches sound more euphemistic. You would feel more welcomed if you used we or our quite often. If a doctor said to you how do we feel today, you would feel very warm and comfortable, because it makes you think that this kind doctor takes your illness as mutual concern.

3 Communicative functions of euphemisms
    Language is for communication, whereas euphemisms may lead to better communication. Using euphemisms can avoid being presumptuous in language communication. When we have to touch some topics that are unpleasant, we tend to choose more euphemistic expressions to refer to those painful topics so as not to hurt the hearer’s feeling. We can find the theoretical foundation for this motivation in Leech’s Politeness Principle. Euphemisms just minimize the impoliteness and maximize the politeness in communication. The functions of euphemisms are in agreement with those of Politeness Principle too, as they both offer more benefit to the hearer and leave more cost to the speaker, with the purpose that both of the two sides will feel respected and have favorable impression of each other. As politeness is usually regarded as the manifestation of human civilization, euphemism is one of the most effective strategies to display politeness while modulating interpersonal relationship in human communication.
3.1 Substitution
    According to the definitions of euphemism and we know that a great number of English euphemisms serve as the substitutions for verbal taboos. The term taboo ( ta meaning “mark”, boo meaning “exceedingly”) of Polynesian origin denotes anything linguistic and nonlinguistic, which is prohibited or forbidden. Taboo refers to the situation in which a word or name can be used in a community only under special conditions, whether only by certain persons or only in certain circumstances. Just as violating a cultural taboo can be quite offensive, so is it with a verbal taboo in press conferences. The “word” has been and continues to be in most societies perceived as a powerful instrument that may evoke evil spirits, make bad things happen and instigate to violence and revolution and numerous other activities. While taboo of words occurs when a particular topic is considered valid for discussion, euphemistic expression or terms are required. So diplomatic euphemisms have a very serious reason for being. They can conceal the things people fear most —death, the dead or the supernatural. Euphemisms can also eliminate unhappiness, embarrassment and fear etc. so as to relieve people psychologically.
3.2 Politeness
    Politeness is another very important function that euphemisms serve in social life. "Some of the euphemisms are used to avoid crudeness and indecency for the sake of a polite conversation."[15] Grice formulated Cooperative Principle of utterance in which the Maxim of Manner was defined as “Be perspicuous and specific; To avoid obscurity; To avoid ambiguity; To be brief and to be orderly.” The roundabout nature of  euphemisms goes against the Maxim of Manner, which can only be fairly explained well by Leech’s Politeness Principle “Approbation Maxim: minimize dispraise of other, maximize praise of other”. In other words, euphemisms are to minimize impolite expressions and maximize polite expressions.
3.3 Disguise
    Besides the two functions of euphemisms mentioned above, there is still another one more important function at work in euphemistic communication, namely, the Disguise Function. Here we mean that because of the vagueness of euphemisms, it has become a very important tool for political leaders or the diplomats or statesmen to distort the facts or and present a false picture of peace and prosperity and to beautify whatever the authority have done. For example, in the Iraq War, they use “Operation Iraqi Freedom” for beautifying their military invasion, “possible movement” refers to military attack, “air operation” or “air strikes” for air attack, “enter the war” to show their reluctance to fight the war etc. and we may find many such kind of these euphemisms in press conferences. The most important and ultimate function or purpose of the use of diplomatic euphemisms in press conferences is to disguise or beautify their invasive essence or other evil actions or the separation of words from truth. In American and British societies nowadays, diplomatic euphemisms are always purposely devised to disguise scandals in wars and politics, deliberately invented to beautify lowly occupations and excessively inflated to promote sales in advertisement.

4. The Cooperative Principle
    Before going on, we look at two examples, as follows:
(1) "A: Can you tell me the time?
 B: Well, the mail has already come.
(2)  A: Are you going to John’s birthday party?
 B: I’ve heard Mary is going."[16]
    It seems there are some mistake in the conversations. But in fact, it is correct. The Cooperative Principle will help us understand more.
    The Cooperative Principle is as follows:" 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."[17]
     According Grice, Cooperative principle is classified into four categories: quantity, quality, relation and manner. The category of quantity relates to the quantity ofinformation to be provided, and under it fall the following maxims:


4.1 The maxim of Quality:
    "Try to make your contribution one that is true, .specifically:
(i) do not say what you believe to be false.
(ii) do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence"[18]
4.2 The maxim of Quantity:
"(i) Make your contribution as informative as is required for the current purposes of the exchange
(ii) Do not make your contribution more informative than is required"[19]
4.3 The maxim of Relation:
    "Make your contribution relevant."[20]
4.4 The maxim of Manner:
"Be perspicuous and specifically:
(i) avoid obscurity of expression.
(ii) avoid ambiguity.
(iii) be brief
(iv) be orderly."[21]
    From what mentioned above, we may know that the Cooperative Principle enables one participant in a conversation to communicate on the assumption that the other participant is being cooperative. These four maxims form a necessary part of the description of linguistic meaning in that they explain how it is that the speakers often “mean more than they say” in their communications.
    "We may decide to withhold whatever information we possess:’ No comment!’ We may inadvertently infringe a maxim or we can secretly violate a maxim—e.g. A could maliciously and falsely tell B that Janet had walked in the opposite direction from the post office. Or – more importantly – we can make a blatant show of breaking one of the maxims (Grice terms this flouting a maxim), in order to lead the addressee to look for a covert, implied meaning."[22] . For examples,
(3)  "At the time of recording, all the members of the cast were members of The BBC Players. ( Implicature: One or more of them are no longer members of The BBC Players.)"[23]
    Generally speaking, "in Grice’s analysis, the speaker’s flouting of a maxim combined with the hearer’s assumption that the speaker has nor really abandoned the co-operative principle leads to an implicature"[24]. One thing that deserves our attention is that the four maxims, expressed in the imperative mood have sometimes been misunderstood as instructions for a speaker to behave in conversation.

5.Possible violating the Cooperative Principle in the use of euphemisms
    In the light of the foregoing literature review and the theoretical bases, we know that euphemisms or euphemistic expressions are important and people often use them in communication. In reality, it can be found that these diplomats and statesmen etc. also use euphemisms or euphemistic expressions in the question-answer patterns. These statesmen make sharp things or unpleasant things sound pleasant etc. otherwise the use of euphemisms may even cause misunderstandings. So the next we will talk about communication with the theories of Cooperative Principle. For example, to be specific, diplomatic euphemisms of press conferences are mainly chosen as the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive word or expression for one that is harsh, indelicate or unpleasant to the other side. They are chosen from both the lexical approach and the rhetorical approach.
    In communication like the question-answer patterns in press conferences, generally people or participants are required to observe the CP in order to make their conversation moves forward smoothly and successfully. But in reality, in order to meet a certain communicative need, especially in press conferences concerning diplomacy, actually people seldom speaks by always faithfully observing these four maxims of the CP. Therefore Grice himself also suggests 5 ways participants can deal with these maxims. First, speakers can straightforwardly follow the maxims, that is, they can speak the truth while giving just enough relevant information in a clear, unambiguous, succinct and orderly manner. Many people do just that most of time. Second, someone may violate a maxim, as you would do if you told a deliberate lie. A third thing that can happen is that a speaker can ‘opt out’ of a maxim, this seems to be an uncommon occurrence. The fourth possibility is the maxim clash; cases in which you would have to violate one maxim in order to fulfill another. And perhaps this is the most case of violation of the maxims in press conferences. The fifth and most intriguing way to deal with the maxims of conversation is to flout one of them. When a maxim is flouted, a speaker doesn't observe the maxim, but cannot be accused of violating it either, because the transgression is so flagrant that it is totally obvious that the speaker knows he or she is not observing it and realizes everyone else in the conversation knows it too.
    The existence of the maxims of the CP makes the conversational implicature possible especially on the conditions like in press conferences etc.. Conversational implicature allows a speaker of any side in press conferences to convey meaning beyond what is literally expressed. Speakers in press conferences can often use euphemisms or euphemistic expressions to produce conversational implicature or more meaning that the hearers can also figure out its real intentions rather than the literal meaning by violating some certain maxims.
5.1. Violation of Quality Maxim
    "Violation of Quality Maxim means by saying things that are not true or the fact and making irresponsible and insincere remarks by the speakers. It can produce some specifical content: humor, or disguise the intention such as Ministry of Defence for Ministry of War, life insurence for insurance when you are dead, freedom fighters for terrorists."[25] Frankly speaking, euphemisms have a tendency to violate Quality Maxim in order to express unpleasant things or ideas etc. in an indirect, roundabout and pleasant way. Therefore if hearers want to know the real intentions , they should infer the conversational implicature from the illocutionary meaning based on the special context. Moreover hyperbole and understatement also don't obey the Quality Maxim, for all these contribution are true . Let us look at some examples as follows:
(4) Q: Britain and France both put troops on standby alert … for possible movement into Kosovo. While … has the U.S. put any units on stand-by for a possible movement to Kosovo?
   A: In view of the fact that … our forces remain at their current state of readiness. There … increase that state of alertness at this point. Obviously… on short stand-by… air operations, would… .
    In the above Q-A patterns of the transcripts, we can see diplomatic euphemisms like “possible movement”, “at their current state of readiness” and “air operation” etc. are used in press conferences that violate the Quality Maxim. From the specific context we know that here “possible movement” mainly means “possible military attack”, “at their current state of readiness” refers to “at their current state of fighting ” and “air operation” refers to “air war” or “air fight” etc.. Still we can find more examples violating Quality Maxim of the CP in press conferences like “Ministry of Defense” for “Ministry of War”, “entering into Kosovo” or “go into Kosovo” for “invade Kosovo” or “invasion” and “information” for “military intelligence” and also “active defense” for “attack” etc.. By saying that, the authority can distort the facts to some extent and also reduce its bad impressions on the public. Hence the authority can present a false picture to the public and to beautify or disguise whatever they have done.
5.2 Violation of Quantity Maxim
    "Violation of Quantity Maxim is by providing non-informative information or by either providing less or more information than actually needed. Strictly speaking, acronym and abbreviation, two main ways of the formation of euphemism, are the two main ways of violating the Quantity Maxim. For example, execute is for execute death penalty, I need to go is for I need to go to the lavatory, commfu for complete monumental military fuck up , S.O.S for son-of-a-bitch."[26] Some euphemisms or euphemistic expressions are created by contributing less information to violate the Quantity Maxim in order to make unpleasant, rude or offensive words sound more pleasant, polite and elegant. Let us have a look at some expressions used in press conferences violate the Quantity Maxim of the CP.
(5) Q: General Naumann said … military targets?
   A: (Cohen): As we indicated the ACTORD was … Serbian forces were really posing a serious threat to several … the cold or from starving. That ACTORD was … innocent people. That ACTORD remains … General Naumann has referred to.
    Let us have a look at another example:
(6) Q: General, … Could you … in the event of a conflict and … in terms of a liaison with the NGOs and …?
   A: Well, their role is…civil-military affairs organizations, … in the CENTCOM theater …
    In the above two question-answer patterns in press conferences we may say that these diplomatic euphemisms violate the Quantity Maxim because they failed to give us the right amount of information we needed or we may also say that they provided less information. By using these euphemisms the speakers like the diplomats and statesmen etc. can avoid mentioning these unpleasant terms or notions like central command and activation order etc. in press conferences.
    Among the euphemisms used in press conferences, we may still find that some of the euphemisms can be regarded as a special case that violate both the Quality Maxim and the Quantity Maxim etc.. Hence in a broad sense we may say that euphemisms that violate the Quality Maxim can also be regarded as a special case that violate the Quantity Maxim because the two maxims are closely related. If a euphemism violates Quality Maxim, it also violates Quantity Maxim to a certain extent. For example, the euphemisms like “possible movement” for “possible military attack” or “possible war”; “brought the world together” mainly refers to those countries led by the USA. Hence from this point of view we may that euphemisms like “possible movement”, “brought the world together” etc. not only violate the Quality Maxim but also violate the Quantity Maxim because to a certain extent they distort the facts and provide less information than people actually need.
5.3 Euphemisms and the Relation Maxim
    As we mentioned before that the Maxim of Relation refers to “Be relevant” and violation of Relation Maxim means that the utterance of a speaker is irrelevant to the conversation or the specific context for some reasons or some purposes. Sometimes we may find English euphemisms are to use irrelevant utterances on the surface to express something that the speakers want to say and cannot say. In fact the implied meaning of the utterances is relevant partially because the formation of English euphemisms abides these formative principles like pleasant-sound principle etc.. For example,
(7) "I approached her very hesitatly.
   "Want to come and play?"
   Piquette looked at me with a sudduen flash of scorn.
   "I ain't a kid," she said.
   Wounded, I stamped angrily away..."[27]
     Here, "I ain't a kid" seems no relationto this conversation. But there implicature meaning is only kids play-- I ain't kid-- I won't play with you. So, it is indirect refuse of communicating. In English “to pass away” is used in a euphemistic sense for “to die” now. The denotation of “to pass away” is “to go away for a time”; while “to die” means “to go away forever”. “To die” is euphemized as “to go away” by violating the Relation Maxim on the surface, in fact, both the two phrases have the relevant meaning to “to go away”. Their difference lies only in the time, one is for a period of time, the other is forever. So when the speaker use “to pass away” to replace “to die”, the hearers may infer the conversational implicature of “to die” from the relevant meaning “to go away”. So with time goes on, it is now almost used as a fixed usage for “to die” in almost all the circumstances.
5.4 Violation of Manner Maxim
    Violation of Manner Maxim means giving obscure and ambiguous information etc.. Sometimes under the communicative circumstances, the speaker, in order to avoid mentioning unpleasant and embarrassed things in a direct way, say something obscurely and ambiguously, then the hearers should carefully infer the conversational implicature of the speaker and what is their real intentions and meaning according to the specific context. So we may find many euphemisms tend to violate the Maxim of Manner so as to achieve the mild, agreeable, roundabout and pleasant-sound effects.
We can also take the following as examples to illustrate how euphemisms violate the Manner Maxim. "A educator cannot say a student is lazy, idle, stupid, or clever. Instead  of them is educationally and socially disadvantaged groups, underachieved, those on the lower end of the ability-scale, high verbal- ability subjects, disadvantaged home enviornments, underprivileged child."[28] Obviously, these words violates Manner Maxim o f being brief.
    Another example, "Perhaps you had better get your affairs in order." This is a notion of death from the doctor. it's wordy but not unnecessary. one-way-ticket is for die. It reflect one's experience and cognition.

    As we stated earlier, euphemism is one of the important and universal linguistic phenomena. Due to the special characteristics like substitution, indirectness etc. it is becoming one of the main communicative approaches This thesis has attempted to study the euphemistic expressions used in the question-answer patterns from the perspective of pragmatics.
The article is an overview of the functions and communicative functions of euphemism, and from the pragmatic analysis of the materials, it can be seen clearly that the use of euphemisms basically violate the Quality Maxim, the Quantity Maxim, and the Manner Maxim of the Cooperative Principle and the frequency of violating the Quality Maxim is the highest among the three ones. That is to say, the euphemisms used in the question-answer patterns generally do not violate the Relation Maxim of the Cooperative Principle.
There is an old saying in English: Necessity is the mother of invention. The creation of euphemisms also cannot depart from people’s needs of them. People need euphemisms for social communication, to euphemize the taboo, to show their politeness and to disguise. As a sociolinguistic phenomenon, the formation of euphemisms is the result of the combination of various social psychological factors and pragmatic factors.
    Studies on euphemisms from a pragmatic perspective reveal how euphemisms flout the Cooperative Principle so as to obey the Politeness Principle in communication and how factors from their sociocultural and communicational context influence their application in communication. Any change of one or more factors of a communication event, will have an effect on our decision of whether to use euphemisms. The expressive euphemisms play a non-fungible role in communication. It is euphemism that makes language more powerful, magical and pleasant. People’s speech does reflect their background, their activities, and the values they hold, therefore, we can learn much about the English people by looking at their use of euphemisms. The studies on English euphemisms can not only help to develop intercultural communicative competence, but also enlighten English language learning and teaching. Therefore, multidisciplinary, multi-angle, and multi-level studies on euphemisms are necessary for English learners to understand the English history and society and communicate with native English speakers better. There are still a lot in this field waiting to be explored, and euphemisms deserve more attention and comprehensive studies.

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