Telling it how it is

The Telegraph

Fat people are fat…there is no need for weasel words, tell it how it is.

So general practitioners are being told not to refer to their patients as obese. I’ll tell you what – I think we’re all going to die the death from a thousand euphemisms.

The euphemism rules OK. I find that most phrases we hear have to be translated into ordinary English. So for example, “A long battle with alcohol” really means “Has lain on the sofa for years watching football and pouring cans of lager down his neck.”

What are actually bad habits are being objectified as diseases. So no one merely drinks too much or gets smashed on illegal drugs. Only he “has alcohol issues and a drug problem.” But it’s not the booze or the drugs that are the problem. The drunk or the abuser is the problem.

Of course, this is all political in origin. Generally we are not allowed to claim that people are responsible for their behaviour, but “suffering from” some dreadful malady inflicted upon them by immutable external causes. However, there are notable exceptions to this rule – the principal one being smoking. No smoker is ever described as someone who “is vulnerable to nicotine.” No, because the smoker is disapproved by our politically correct culture, we are allowed to describe his habit as “filthy” and encouraged to regard the poor devil as a pariah.

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