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Euphemisms: Kate Burridge at TEDxSydney

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Published on Jun 21, 2012

In an entertaining analysis with colourful examples from the English language, Kate Burridge talks about what we'd rather NOT talk about: euphemism. Words that shield us against what's embarrassing, what's feared, and what's disliked. She explains how euphemisms are created, how they wear out, and why, ultimately, they make our lives easier.

Kate Burridge is currently Professor of Linguistics at Monash University in Melbourne and is a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. She is a regular commentator in the media and has authored many books on language. Linguistic taboos have always intrigued her, especially the ins and outs of those expressions we create to speak the unspeakable.

TEDxSydney 2012 took place on Saturday 26 May 2012 at Carriageworks. Tens of thousands of people enjoyed the day: 800 in the theatre, over 1,000 via big screen simulcast in The Forum, many thousands online via YouTube and ABC Big Ideas ... and up to 80,000 tuning in to ABC Radio National.

About TEDx, x = independently organised event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

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