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Diabolically Arcane

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Pot Roast

11 February, 2011

Linguist and TV regular, Kate Burridge throws down a gauntlet in her entertaining read, Gift of the Gob. The challenge is gob-related in fact, and I quote: Cannibalism is the ultimate of all our food taboos, if not society’s ultimate taboo. But where are the euphemisms?

Seems every other cultural delicacy, from bathroom breaks to death, has a string of phrases to mask the unpleasant details. But not cannibalism.

In campus circles, the practice is dubbed anthropophagy, but that won’t wash as a fudge-term in general conversation. So what will?

Hannibal Lecter, perhaps the most infamous human-muncher, delights in the phrase of having dinner with an old friend. Which must get the prize so far. But can you out-phrase the cannibal? Feels like a comical column in the making – all we need is some succulent suggestions. How can we ‘name’ cannibals or cannibalism with style? From facetious to ingenious, all ideas welcome – and I’ll pass the cream onto Kate as well!

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Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
OBVS I'm fine with it
Entrenched stuff - like LOL and OMG - but no more.
Words With Friends, maybe. Scrabble, no
Let the 'real' dictionaries decide first
Just the handy stuff, like FAQ and EUW
I mean, WTF?! No way
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