According to McGlone & Batchelor, the underlying definition of euphemism is “an expression referring to a stimulus that is perceived as more polite than the stimulus’ conventional literal label.” It is this linguistic substitution of a more agreeable expression in place of the original expression itself that this study examines. Such euphemistic circumlocutions are discerned through the coding of emails.
1. Omit salutations and sign-offs, such as ‘sincerely’ and ‘regards’.
2. Separate out the ideas contained in each email: Disparate ideas are segmented into individual sentences.
3. Code each idea unit ( 1 = if it contains 1 or more euphemisms; 0 = no euphemism)
Inter-coder reliability: 89.8%
Percentage of euphemisms found (and agreed on): 0.88%
Percentage of errors occurring because coder 1 coded euphemism and coder 2 did not: 100%
Vice versa percentage: 0%
Two euphemisms we agreed on:
i) “I want to eat you for breakfast, lunch, evening tea, supper, and midnight snack.”
ii) ” I want to devour you.”