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Basically when you try to put makeup on the truth, for example when instead of calling someone autistic they call them special?

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    It's "soft-peddling".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 15:25
  • A euphemism, you mean?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 15:40
  • There are lots of posts including 'soft-peddle' and 'euphemism'. They bracket this, so I'll choose one as a duplicate. Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 15:42
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    It's not 'soft-peddling'. It's soft-pedalling (or '-pedaling' in the US, I expect). A metaphorical usage, derived from the soft (or 'una corda') pedal on a piano, meaning 'toning down, damping, muting or obscuring'. Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 16:50
  • @MichaelHarvey - I'd always been given the impression that it was referring to a peddler -- a salesman -- and that it was a synonym for "soft-sell" (another possible term for the original question). And some sources back this up. But I see that many references relate it to the piano pedal, as you suggest.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 20:00

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