This is an uncomfortable subject. In German today we looked at an interview published in Welt Online: Unwörter sind Produkte von Medien und Politik, which was about the way words are invented or distorted to cover up the truth about things. You could translate Unwörter as non-words, perhaps.
The press is particularly prone to coming up with abbreviations like "Gitmo" for Guantanamo Bay or "WMDs" for Weapons of Mass Destruction. If something is too unbearable to contemplate, give it a nickname. Actually people are for ever doing this, from military personnel who can't face the truth of what they really mean by "collateral damage" to the insecure father of a teenage girl inventing a silly name for her boyfriend rather than deigning to call him by his real name.
Insurance companies come up with insensitive inventions like "Todesfallbonus" (a death bonus) and "Langlebigkeitsrisiko" (the risk of a long life), which the philologist Horst Dieter Schlosser feels is an insult to human dignity.
Talking of dignity, what about those nursing homes run by Dignicare, Inc? Doing a Google search for "dignicare" by the way, also reveals this link, a perfect example of how words can sometimes deliberately imply the exact opposite of what they actually stand for.
Then there are the inappropriate exaggerations. Schlosser deplores the recent use of the word "pogrom" in connection with managers' salaries, and haven't animal rights activists gone too far, he asks, by telling us that battery hens live in a "Hühner-KZ" (a concentration camp for chickens)? "KZ" itself is another of those euphemisms invented by someone who couldn't bear to pronounce the actual word.
Well, talking of chickens, here's a quotation from C.S. Lewis that Chris found for me today:
It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird; it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.