Tuesday, April 27, 2004
I like the term 'decedent.' It's as though the man weren't dead, but merely involved in some sort of protracted legal dispute. For evident reasons, mortuary science is awash with euphemisms. "Don't say stiff, corpse, cadaver," scolds The Principles and Practice of Embalming. "Say decedent, remains or Mr. Blank. Don't say 'keep.' Say 'maintain preservation.'...." Wrinkles are "acquired facial markings." Decomposed brain that filters down through a damaged skull and bubbles out the nose is "frothy purge."
Bonus points if you use the term "frothy purge" in a business meeting, whether or not correctly.