Right after the 9-11 attacks, prominent writers and bloggers spoke of the need to speak clearly about what had happened and to avoid gooey euphemisms. References to Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" were quite in vogue as i remember. Andrew Sullivan may have lost his taste for clear speaking but some have not. It seems appropriate to point to this Chicago Tribune column.
Don't sugarcoat what's happening to Terri SchiavoRTWT
I've been searching for the right word to describe what is happening to Terri Schiavo, a word that has some real blood to it.
It's important to find the right word now, because, by the time you read this, the severely brain-damaged woman might be dead.
Perhaps you've noticed other bloodless words being flipped at her, words like "viability" and phrases like "pull the plug."
These words were once the issue of bloodless people, of clerks and sophists who can prove almost anything with their fine arguments. The rest of us have fed on them until they shape how we think, shaping our options, shaping our future.