Euphemisms III: "He’s passed"

This euphemism is now used even in conservative journals: "Now that he’s passed"?!

We used to say "passed away" when we want to avoid "died," but apparently the "away" is not even allowable anymore: we just have to say "he passed," as though Tom Petty were a college quarterback who had just chucked the ball (of life) to someone else.

Soon, the word "death" itself will be politically unacceptable:

"I put grandpa to sleep."

"I decided not to keep the baby."

"Joe passed last weekend."

I don't think Homer ever said "Achilles passed," or that Shakespeare ever contended that "Claudius put Hamlet Senior to sleep."


Comments

  1. Back in the 70s a friend of mine made a pertinent observation: the Victorians might have been skittish about discussing sex but they were much more forthright than we in discussing death.

    Are you in favor of the passing penalty?

    BTW there's a huge amount of piffle about the Victorians and sex, and a lot of silly myths. A good dispelling of some is in the book Inventing the Victorians.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Back in the 70s a friend of mine made a pertinent observation: the Victorians might have been skittish about discussing sex but they were much more forthright than we in discussing death.

    Are you in favor of the passing penalty?

    BTW there's a huge amount of piffle about the Victorians and sex, and a lot of silly myths. A good dispelling of some is in the book Inventing the Victorians.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maybe that journal just misspelt the particle? He's past.

    ReplyDelete

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