23 SEPTEMBER 1995, Page 30

Sir: May I• draw your readers' attention to a recent

euphemism for abortion used by Miss Polly Toynbee on Channel 4 televi- sion? Miss Toynbee's phrase was 'not carry- ing on with the pregnancy'. Note how this phrase — unlike the previous euphemism `termination of pregnancy' — avoids the recognition that something active is being done. Rather, there is a subtle linguistic suggestion that allowing the natural process of childbearing and birth to take its course is doing something — and one may just as well not do this thing if it does not suit.

What we have here is a deliberate attempt to use language to misrepresent the world.

M.T. Dalling

58 Aldervale Cottages, Crowborough, East Sussex