Forget about ‘felons’ or ‘convicts’: The criminal use of euphemisms

The Office of Justice Programs, a division within the Justice Department, recently announced that it would no longer use terms such as “felons” or “convicts” to describe, well, felons and convicts.

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Buster Keaton portraying a convict. (Image via Wikimedia commons)

PHOENIX, May 9, 2016 – The Office of Justice Programs, a division within the Justice Department, recently announced that it would no longer use terms such as “felons” or “convicts” to describe, well, felons and convicts.

Henceforth, convicts and felons will instead be referred to in less disparaging, much more euphemistical terms such as “person who committed a crime” or “individual who was incarcerated.”

To do otherwise would be to stigmatize someone who was convicted of committing a crime. And we do not want to hurt the feelings of criminals. I mean, what did they really do, other than break the law? That’s not so bad, especially since the Obama administration doesn’t seem to really follow many of them. And no one wants to stigmatize the Obama Administration, especially the media.

According to Fox News, an 80 year-old great-grandma from Sultan, Washington recently shot and killed a home intruder who beat her husband with a crowbar and then stabbed him with a knife. The great-grandma clearly saved the home invader from the terrible stigma of one day being referred to as a felon or convict. That stigmatizing effect would certainly have been much worse than, well, being dead.


The Office of Justice Programs is off to a good start, but it clearly it didn’t go far enough. Here are some other less stigmatizing terms we can expect the OJP and other federal agencies to implement soon.

Ex-con: Person who, through no fault of his or her own, was unjustly apprehended by law enforcement and incarcerated in the systemically racist criminal justice system.

Prison: Hostel for persons who, through no fault of their own, were unjustly apprehended by law enforcement and incarcerated in the systemically racist criminal justice system.

Criminal: Republican

Home Invader: Interior designer

Crime Victim: Individual who should not have been where he/she was, doing what he/she should not have been doing that enticed another person to commit a crime.

Burglar: Shrewd negotiator

Thief: One who effects a transfer of wealth

Murderer: Existence terminator

Terrorist: Conservative Republican

Islamic Terrorist: Ha, funny! There’s no such thing.

Republican: Criminal

Lone Wolf Terrorist: College Republican

College Republican: Ha, funny! There’s no such thing.

Okay, so maybe some of these aren’t exactly less stigmatizing but let me suggest a few of my own:

Hillary Clinton: Person who committed crimes but has somehow managed to escape incarceration.

Obamacare Enrollee: Sucker

Republican Party: The party formerly known as…

Democratic Party: Institution for the Comically Insane

Office of Justice Programs: Institution for the Euphemistically Criminal

It was a busy week for the Department of Justice. Besides dealing with what to call convicts and felons, the DOJ also threatened North Carolina over its recently passed transgender bathroom law.

The North Carolina law requires transgender people to use the restroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate. Somehow, according to the DOJ, this is discriminatory and violates Title VII and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act and possibly baseball’s Infield Fly Rule.

One wouldn’t want to stigmatize any man that dresses as a woman and wants to use the restroom of some other sex than his own. One used to be able to use the term “opposite sex,” but given the number of sexes there are these days, that term no longer applies.

Perhaps the real concern of the DOJ is that a transgender person could end up breaking the North Carolina bathroom law and then be called a felon or a convict. Just think of the stigma!

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Curtice Mang
Curtice Mang earned a Political Science degree after attending college during the depths of the Carter Administration, a time where the only thing worse than the Carter malaise was Disco. He is the author of two books of political humor, The Smell of Politics: The Good, The Bad, and The Odorous and The Constitution – I’m Not Kidding and Other Tales of Liberal Folly. He has worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years and is also a high school basketball coach. In addition to CommDigiNews, Curtice contributes to multiple conservative websites, including Broadside News, Front Lines and What Would the Founders Think. He can be found at www.mangwrites.com, where his books are also available for purchase for a song (and the cover price). Contact Curtice at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @curticemang. He can also be found wandering about on Facebook and Google+. His views are his own - mostly because no one else would claim them.