When I was an undergraduate I had a job as research assistant to Professor Anna Wierzbicka. One of the many projects I worked on was collecting examples of the semantics of terms for genocide. I’m not sure that anything came of it in the end, but I spend a bit of time looking at the uses of the term genocide in journalism and other writings, as well as euphemisms such as “ethnic cleansing”.
I heard a new euphemism the other day. I was watching American ABC News on the TV in the waiting room while my car was being fixed. Someone talking about Darfur and described a member of the Janjawiid as a “specialist in depopulation”. The context showed that the term was clearly used as a metaphor for genocide and not just a description. I wonder if this will catch the same way that “ethnic cleansing” did.