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Face It: She Died

August 12 would have been my wife’s grandmother’s 105th birthday. Lest anyone think we’ve been counting for years, she died one month ago.

Yet it seemed as if no one wanted to acknowledge the fact. Everyone used euphemisms: She passed away. We lost her. She’s with Grandpa now.

I don’t understand why most of us can’t simply say “She died.” It’s concise, it’s an active-voice sentence, and it’s correct.

But most of us can’t, and people know it. Check out You Can Be Funny’s list of euphemisms for death. The late, great George Carlin knew from which he spoke. So did Monty Python.

Among my favorites: “Baste the formaldehyde turkey,” “Buy a pine condo,” “Checking out the grass from underneath,” “Finally eligible for that management position he/she was always after,” “Got his/her tab Called at the Bar Of Life,” “He’s past his sell-by date,” “In the horizontal phone booth,” “Kicked the oxygen habit,” “On the unable to breathe list,” “permanently out of print,” “The lone couch of his everlasting sleep” and “Winning one for the Reaper.”

See how ridiculous it is? Just say, “She died.”

Until next time! Use the right words!


August 13, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I’m sorry for your loss, and I know how you feel. Yesterday, August 12, would have been my mother-in-law’s 100th birthday, had she not died a few months ago. We got the family together, and went out to dinner in her honor. Had a toast in her name, and told funny stories about her. She was a lovely woman, as I’m sure your mother was, and she will be very much missed. Many (most) of those euphemisms sound much worse than the actual words… she died.


    Comment by | August 13, 2012 | Reply

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