I would like to know if the following question would be appropriate for academia.SE
Several times now I've had desk rejections from journals in pure mathematics that are variations on the theme of 'we have a large backlog of very good articles, so unfortunately we won't even be sending your paper to a referee even though we might ordinarily do so'. I suspect this is just euphemism for 'we aren't interested in your paper/your paper is not good enough/go away', as claiming a large backlog seems to me to be more objectively defendable than making an editorial decision (ie 'not significant enough') and standing by it on its own terms. Alternatively, it may be phrased this way to soften the blow in claiming to not make an explicit judgement call on paper quality.
Is this common practice among editors and/or journals? I haven't in my admittedly limited experience heard similar wording in rejections from, say, experimental sciences journals. More controversially, am I correct in my reading, that it is just euphemism? (If so, I do not appreciate it, in the interest of academic honesty over lawyer-approved weasel words.)