People love to use words and expressions to cloud their real intentions. Often these expressions can cloak lies and make you feel better about doing something that is just plain awful.
George Orwell wrote about how governments can mask some pretty nasty stuff with word tricks.
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air; the inhabitants, driven out into the countryside; the cattle machine gunned; the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets. This is called pacification.
People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps. This is called the elimination of unreliable elements.
Euphemisms can be very dangerous. They have the ability to confuse and mislead people who are unfamiliar with a situation. They can make something very bad look very good.
Money is a prime breeding ground for all manners of psychoses. Euphemisms often serve as a form of financial camouflage for our worst desires. They work silently to give us the feeling we are doing something productive when in reality the opposite is occurring.
Here are some common examples:
“I did a lot of research on this stock.”- Scientists do research using data. Choosing an investment because you saw some person you don’t know talk about it on T.V. for two minutes does not make you Marconi.
“I don’t have time to learn about my finances.” – No, you choose to do other things with your time. You may choose to spend your time watching T.V. for seven hours a day or mindlessly playing Candy Crush. Don’t confuse doing what you want to do, over doing what you don’t want to, as a lack of time.
“My house is a financial investment.” – Actually, things that pay YOU are considered to be an investment. When you have a mortgage, property taxes, and large upkeep costs, you are paying someone else. There is nothing wrong with home ownership, but don’t confuse it with something that is designed to beat inflation over long periods of time.
“I saved money because this was on sale.”- Buying something that you did not need is not saving money. You simply cut down your unnecessary spending by a small amount. Not exactly the best way to build up your savings account.
“I deserve this.”- Say what, Snowflake? Who exactly is the judge of this and what did you do to deserve this honor? The inability to distinguish between a want and a need should not win you any prizes. Oh, I forgot — everybody gets a trophy, so what the heck. Deserving and wanting are two entirely different things.
“It’s a long-term investment.” – Translation: The stock I bought on a tip looking to make a few quick bucks did not perform as planned. Now I am stuck with it and I am trying to save face — would be far more accurate terminology.
“This annuity is perfect for your retirement account.” – Translation: It’s the end of the month and the commission on this garbage is the only thing that will let me reach my sales quota.
Remember, using euphemisms can cause a great deal of “collateral damage” to your financial health.
Losing money is no fun. No matter what words you choose to use.