Stylistic Choice of Euphemism as a Strategy against Vulgarity in Social Media

Abstract

There is no gainsaying the fact that social media such as facebook encapsulate language of obscenity, vulgarity and indecency. Using the stylistic approach that considers style as choice, the paper contends that stylistic strategy of euphemism can be deployed to mitigate obscenity and vulgarity in the language of social media. An article on facebook “Letter to my Boss” serves as data for the analysis of obscenity in the language of social media. Linguistic contents of the article, purposively selected and placed in the first columns of both tables I & II, represent the stylistic choices of the writer, while the linguistic content on the second columns of the tables represents the available linguistic options open to the writer. The analysis reveals that the writer carefully selects his/her linguistic choices while ignoring other choices of the available options even though they contain the same meanings. This is perhaps done in order to mitigate the obscenity that the article would have portrayed. The paper therefore suggests that this euphemistic strategy can be deployed as stylistic choice in any literary piece where vulgarity and obscenity are inevitable.

Keywords: Language, Mitigation, Obscenity, Style, Taboo


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 73-81 (Download PDF)

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