Fun with euphemisms: The dog run

03Jun10

Several of the residential buildings in my area like to promote themselves as being pet-friendly. Typically, this means the building has a dedicated area where dogs can, um, do their business. What amuses me the most, though, is the way they describe these canine rest areas. Instead of naming the area based on actual usage, it’s usually called a “dog run” or a “dog park”.

Dog park? If it’s big enough, that might be accurate. But a dog run? How many dogs are actually doing anything that resembles running in these small spaces? Not many. Granted, calling it a “dog relief area” isn’t very enticing. But the existing euphemisms are so over-the-top that they lose much of their descriptive value anyway.

What’s the answer here? Building marketers should start by including the size of the dog area in their communications. For instance, you might say “Half-acre dog park” or “30’x10′ dog run”. Sure, the goofy names are still an issue. But at least the sizes will keep potential residents from being misled, freeing their minds to ponder what their pets might do with the available space.



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