Exploring the Publics’ Perception on the use of Euphemism in Malaysian Political Articles
Keywords:euphimism, political articles
A large number of euphemisms have been routinely employed in English-speaking media, including television and radio channels, newspapers, online articles, and magazines. Even though the use of euphemism is unarguably helpful in most cases, there are few cases in which the euphemisms used fail in conveying their meaning. Hammond and Bransford (2012) had addressed that euphemisms can cause problems such as confusion and failure in adequate information interpretation. This research attempts to investigate the public’s perception on the use of euphemisms in Malaysian political articles. The method adopted in this study was qualitative approach starting with content analysis of euphemistic expressions from ten selected Malaysian political articles based on Burridge (2012). This was followed by structured interviews with five Malaysian citizens of various backgrounds. The findings indicated that the euphemisms used in national political newspapers are formed through lexical devices, grammatical devices, and rhetorical devices as has been suggested by Burridge (2012). The results of the interview show that the participants’ perspectives towards euphemisms can be categorized into four: (1) euphemisms usage to avoid taboo words and showing politeness, (2) misleading or unclear meaning, (3) euphemisms as ideological tools, and (4) greater degree of unconventionality from its meaning.
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