Euphemism as a linguistic strategy of evasion in political media discourse
The article describes the structural, semantic and pragmatic features of political euphemisms, which are used as a means of implementing the strategy of evasion of truth in modern English-language political media discourse. A corpus of modern English political euphemisms is explored from the perspective of the general scientific approach of “a man in a language”, which makes the study relevant and original. The study examined the language material collected from the British and American media publications of 2020-2021. The analysis was based on the application of the componential, distributive, and contextual methods, as well as the quantitative research methods, contributing to a deeper understanding of the structure, semantics, and pragmatic nature of political euphemisms in modern English. Four major categories of political euphemisms identified in the articles on social and political topics are 1) economic euphemisms; 2) politically correct euphemisms; 3) military euphemisms; 4) diplomatic euphemisms. The article presents the quantitative data on the structural patterns, euphemism strategies and devices, and the quantitative ratio of the items representing the initial and resulting euphemistic nominations. The findings suggest that the political media discourse is influenced by considerations of political benefits, which often prescribe concealing the truth. The use of euphemistic substitutes in the media is strategically motivated, so political euphemism can be seen as a discursive tactic of truth evasion.