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The following pages contain terrible, horrible, no good, very bad secrets about nature that no pony should ever know. The author is not to be held liable for any miserable fate which befalls the reader.
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POLITE FICTION: (n) A polite fiction is a social scenario in which all participants are aware of a truth, but pretend to believe in some alternative version of events to avoid conflict or embarrassment. Polite fictions are closely related to euphemism, in which a word or phrase that might be impolite, disagreeable, or offensive is replaced by another word or phrase that both speaker and listener understand to have the same meaning.
An example would be of a man who goes out drinking, but tells his family that he is merely going for an evening walk to enjoy the night air. Even though everyone knows he will only be walking as far as the bar and will come home drunk, they all pretend that he really is going out for a walk, and pretend not to notice his drunkenness when he returns. Another common example is a couple that has had an argument, after which one of them absents him or herself from a subsequent social gathering, with the other claiming that he or she is "ill".