Rightsize That Euphemism!

Slate’s language contest returns.

Click here  * to play or download Slate’s latest euphemisms audio contest, featuring Atlantic Monthly language columnist Barbara Wallraff.

Last month, we asked Slate readers and podcast listeners to help us crown the best euphemism from the corporate world. Our contest curator, Barbara Wallraff, received lots of great entries, and she’s back on today’s podcast to unveil her favorite, along with numerous runners up.

You don’t need an iPod to hear the program—you can play it right from your computer by clicking here *. Among other things, we discuss the many, many euphemisms for being fired (including the euphemistic origins of the term “fired” itself).


The show also contains a new challenge. Barbara now wants your help finding the very best euphemism for dead. As always, we strongly recommend that you listen to the program before entering the contest (although you won’t be pushing up daisies if you don’t). Here are the entry details:


The deadline: Sept. 30, 2006
The e-mail address: podcast@wordcourt.com
The prize: none (sorry). But winners will be noted on Barbara’s Web site www.wordcourt.com, and she may include worthy entries in a future book (not unlike her most recent book, Word Fugitives).

(By entering this contest, you grant Slate permission to use your name unless you expressly request otherwise.)

For comments, not contest entries, write us at Podcasts@Slate.com.

* If clicking on the link doesn’t start the audio playing on your system, or if you prefer to download it, try right-clicking (Windows) or holding down the Control key while you click (Mac), and then “save” or “download” the audio file to your hard drive.