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“Euphemism” can be defined as “a mild, indirect, or vague term for one that is considered harsh, blunt, or offensive” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/euphemism). However, in business, politics, and some other areas, euphemisms are used to mask the real meaning of a word in order to sell a product, regardless of whether the product is a cereal or a political system.
Here’s what you will find in this week’s Translation Journal email update:
This week we celebrated Thanksgiving in the USA. Most people living outside of the USA know about Thanksgiving as a day in which families and friends gather to consume way too much turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie before relaxing for hours in front of the TV watching football, with the day often ending in a bitter fight among drunken family and friends. All kidding aside, while that scene sometimes plays out, it usually only occurs after we have shared with each other what we are thankful for.
Many countries including Canada, China, Brazil, and Korea have a similar day of gratitude. Expressing gratitude all year round and not just on one day can improve one’s physical and emotional state. Several research studies have found that when we think about someone or something that we appreciate, the feeling that goes with that thought triggers a calming sense of well-being. Expressing gratitude is good for the giver, too. The studies have found that expressing gratitude can improve cholesterol and diminish stress, depression, and anxiety, which can in turn lead to better sleep and relaxation. Gratitude is good medicine!