"Weasel words" are words that are intended to, or have the effect of, softening the force of a potentially loaded or controversial statement. The term was coined by Stewart Chaplin in a 1900 short story and invokes the image of a sneaky weasel wriggling its way out of tight spaces in the same way that these words subtly redirect attention. One example of weasel words is the phrase "headcount reduction," which is used in the corporate world as a euphemism for what distasteful course of action?
E. M. Forster
Back in the day
Anne Boleyn was the second queen consort of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I. When Anne failed to produce male heirs, she was brought to trial on charges of adultery and incest. Under great pressure, a court headed by her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, condemned her, and she was beheaded. Two days before her death, her marriage was declared void by the Church of England. Henry's divorce from his first wife, motivated by his desire to marry Anne, initially drove what historical event?
Born on a day like today
Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese nationalist leader, president of North Vietnam, and one of the most influential political leaders of the 20th century. He traveled to the US and London in the early 1900s and later went to France, where he became a founding member of the French Communist Party. He studied revolutionary tactics in Moscow and organized revolutionaries in Indochina. After the outbreak of WWII, Ho returned to Vietnam and declared it a republic. In Vietnam, he is referred to by what name?