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Eusystolism

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Eusystolism

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Eusystolism is the use of initial letters to avoid having to use embarrassing or forbidden words.

Example

He's just a B.F. That's all I can say. An awful, horrible, B.F.

She was talking B.S., really, but I couldn't tell her.

I'd like to GTTT. You know! (go to the toilet)

Discussion

In the niceties of society, there are social rules that forbid the use of certain words, such as swear words and mentioning certain parts of the body. When you want to use such words, one way of getting around the dilemma is to use initial letters.

When you do this, the listener is forced to spend time guessing what the letters mean. Some combinations are so common, it is easy to guess. Others need more thought. The use of obscure combinations can turn into a social game.

Classification: Reduction

See also

Confusion principle

 

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