Euphemisms, acronyms and outright lies:
The language of war
Story by Stephen J. Thorne
For decades, politicians referred to the Korean War as the ‘Korean Conflict,’ as if the soldiers who fought and died on the battlefields of the disputed peninsula were somehow less soldierly or less dead if killed by conflict rather than war.
Some 2.5 million people died in the Koreas between 1950 and 1953, including 516 Canadians, and the war is not over yet. The armistice only put a pause on the fighting; 66 years later, there still has been no peace treaty signed to end it.
Officially, there was no declaration of war in Korea—it was a ‘police action’ (another euphemism)—so, technically, the politicians were correct, though ‘conflict’ suggests something more in the nature of a marital tiff than all-out war. Whoever came up with the phrase probably never saw a day of action in their life.