You know, I am glad that you made this thread Becca. This particular trend drives me nuts. I do understand the origins, but really, it is possible to describe a complete problem without having to use a proper noun.
e.g. My inlaws are extremely religious, which is fine, except sometimes they express intolerant views. My husband is not as devoted as they are, and we both agree that we want to raise our daughter with a more liberal view of the religion.
You don't have to write, "My inlaws are members of the Pamplemousse religion..." It's just silly, and most of the time it's not needed.
Now, replacing the names of real life people with fake ones in a story is helpful. I'd say that this is the only time such euphamisms are necessary. ("Play Scrabble" is funny, but it's not necessary. We're all adults and/or mature people.)
Man, I have been bottling that up for ages
! Thank you!