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Dysphemism

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Dysphemism

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Dysphemism is the use of extreme words instead of more moderate or accurate words.

Example

She was beating me up with really horrific words.

Gambling is a tax on losers.

The government are idiots.

Discussion

When an extreme word is used it amplifies the meaning and thus grabs attention. It says 'this is important, please listen!'

The use of swear words is common in dysphemism and it is often a signal that the person using it is emotionally aroused. This can be a threat situation and hence encourages other people to pay close attention.

Dysphemism is an opposite to euphemism, where a mild word is used.

Classification: Amplification, Substitution

See also

Amplification principle, Attention principle, Hyperbole

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