Poetry

Euphemism

There are no more husbands and wives: instead, we are asked to bring a “partner”. The word, but not the meaning, survives. Children have no more parents in their lives: forms ask for the name of their “carer”. There are no more husbands and wives. When a bureaucrat contrives to give the chaos of life some order a word without its meaning survives. A visitor to the Blind Centre arrives: it is renamed “Vision Australia”. He leaves before the husbands and wives open their fund-raising drives. The Deaf School is now “The Society for Better Hearing”. The meaning scarcely survives.…

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