Tuesday, September 12, 2006


n. The substitution, or event of substituting, an excessively negative word for one that is milder or inoffensive. Antonym: euphemism.

I don't remember why I wanted to define this word. I thought about it months ago but it wasn't until tonight that I remembered to look for a proper opposite of eu-. Oh well.

It's not merely an exaggeration; it's specifically a bad one. It's not just hyperbole, which is obviously nonliteral exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis or drama, but is a concrete overstatement of the real or imagined negative aspect of something for the purpose of shock or dismay.

Dark, I know, but it's late, and 911 isn't a cheery day.

I can almost guarantee it would have seemed suitable in the context in which I meant to present the word. Probably something about politics or postmodern word magic (which I'll get to in a couple weeks, I hope--remind me).

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