It seems that speaking bluntly has been out of vogue for a few years now and the trend of gently sparing the feelings of others continues.
The statement "he doesn't know how to do his job" can be changed to "job performance may be enhanced by further training."
"She lost" is the same as "The challenge proved a bit too difficult," only it sounds a lot nicer and takes out some of the sting.
In my experience, teachers are among those most sensitive to sparing the feelings of others, so it's no surprise when it comes to grading papers, teachers across the country are saying purple is the new red.
News reports say some teachers are buying purple pens by the jumbo package, replacing the age-old red pens that have such a negative connotation. Purple is a happy, trendy color, and it allows criticism in a gentle, pacifying way.
In other words, it doesn't hurt quite so much to see a big F on a paper if it's written in purple instead of red.
Purple softens the blow, while red merely raises blood pressure while signaling danger, according to experts in the field of color psychology.
Some colors do seem to incite certain emotions, or at least have a particular connotation.
Nobody wants to get a pink slip or end up on the black list, but we'd all like to have green thumbs. Blue laws are an inconvenience for some people, who may want to paint the town red on a Sunday.
I try to live green (with sensitivity toward the environment) and to avoid yellow journalism (the practice of sensationalizing news stories.)
Purple opens a whole new world of options for so many of us. Think of all the ways this vibrant ink could benefit our society from gently breaking the news of higher taxes to informing citizens a water treatment plant will be built in their neighborhood.
Bills of any sort could be less unpleasant; for example, when the phone bill reaches gargantuan proportions because of long distance calls or using too many prime time minutes, the statement could be sent in purple complete with a smiley face right next to the total.
Think of all the people who could put a gentle spin on their day to day business by just changing the color of their correspondence and advertising -- politicians, insurance companies, attorneys, law enforcement officers on the speeding detail...the list is endless.
There's way too much criticism in the world, and I'd be tickled pink if we could help avoid the blues by using purple.