There is an interesting piece by the journalist Katharine Whitehorn on the BBC site (you can hear her too) where she makes the point that words for things shape how we see those things. For instance, the full horror of so-called honour killings, extraordinary rendition and waterboarding is masked by the benign language of these terms. Many people have commented on the lack in English of a suitable word for a partner to whom one is joined in a civil partnership. Ms Whitehorn rightly comments that so much baggage is attached to the terms wife and husband, that they seem inappropriate for same-sex couples.
Ms Whitehorn particularly takes issue with the word bonus, and thinks we should be talking about 'maluses' as some in the USA already are. Bonus is clearly related to the Latin for good, so it seems inappropriate for bankers who have made mistakes to be awarded a bonus, particularly to expect a guaranteed bonus, a phrase which Ms Whitehorn describes as an oxymoron.