Thursday, February 05, 2009

Euphemism

Not that long ago I was watching an interview on late night TV. I can't recall the name of the person being interviewed, but I know he was of British, possibly Irish. He shared a few stories of the typical late night variety. Those designed for shock value and a good laugh. Then he digressed to talking about the family he grew up with and as he became quieter and more serious, he commented "of course, they've all been gathered now."
This shift in tone did not escape the attention of the host, as he quickly poked fun at the use of the gentle euphemism in stark contrast to more acceptable, irreverent slang. It didn't escape my attention either. Most of us are uncomfortable with death and we have created much vocabulary in the name of avoiding the true meaning of the word. I'd never heard the phrase "they've been gathered" before. And the thing is, despite the fact that we invented the term as a euphemism, I think it might be the truest picture we could paint of what happens when we die.

2 comments:

Dianne Q Adams said...

I've never heard that phrase either. Interesting.

LeAnne Benfield Martin said...

I love that phrase, and I also think it's very apt. In fact, it's beautiful and comforting and tender. Very nice.

Thanks!