Sunday, January 27, 2013
There is an absolutely brilliant piece by George Carlin on euphemisms. A don't-miss performance which really skewers the subject.
(While it is easy, and appropriate, to make fun of political correctness excesses, I recognise that the general notion has it merits and can be quite beneficial in the right context.)
Anyhow, after watching the video, I started thinking - are there any euphemisms in our noble sport? Are there any sailing terms that have evolved from straightforward words or expressions into mushy, anodyne, soporific, mealy-mouthed drivel?
I am not referring to nautical jargon. Although it is not really necessary - what do we gain by saying starboard and port instead of right and left - it is charming and a link to the past and I would not wish to change it.
But, I am having a hard time thinking of any euphemisms in sailing. The only one that comes to mind is PFD - Personal Flotation Device. What's wrong with life jacket or even life vest? Nothing apparently in the eyes of the US Coastguard or RLNI, both of whose websites refer to life jackets. But the Racing Rules of Sailing use personal flotation devices.
Are there any other sailing euphemisms ?