Tag Archives: Politics

Merriam Dictionary’s Word of the Year

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 SURREAL

bizarre: a surreal mix of fact and fantasy

Are we surprised? Interestingly, searches for this word peaked on November 9, the day after the presidential election.

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Shakespeare Insult Kit

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Here’s all you need to find the perfect insult. Just follow the instructions below. You don’t need to read across, necessarily. Just take one from each column, wherever you find an appealing word.  Thanks to my friend Lee G. for posting this.

 

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Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Performances

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A reader suggested I write about the language Hillary Clinton used during the long, long campaign. My reaction was that it was a good idea and I will try to do that here. I have to state that she was far from my ideal candidate: honestly, I am tired of Clintons (and Bushes). Bernie Sanders was direct and forceful, but I didn’t think he would win in the general election. My ideal candidate would have been Elizabeth Warren, and I hope she will decide to run in 2020.

Meanwhile, back to Clinton’s language. Instead of specific words and phrases, I think more about her overall presentation. She was always well groomed and carried herself well. She was able to keep a placid face during the debates, even when insults were shooting her way. The one word I thought was reprehensible was when she referred to Trump’s supporters as a basket of “deplorables.” I have no idea who wrote that for her—perhaps it was her own word choice—but someone should have quashed it immediately. With that one word she painted every Trump supporter as unworthy, and if any of them had been considering voting for her, that single word killed that chance.

My main complaint about her campaigning style was when she was in front of large crowds and took to shouting. Her voice was raspy and grating. She had microphones everywhere, so the shouting was unnecessary. She could have conveyed her enthusiasm with a less annoying voice. Interestingly, I thought her concession speech was wonderful: she spoke calmly, convincingly and conversationally. She’s smart and diligent and very likely will do something productive with her time.

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Flounder vs. Founder

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Given the endless political campaign and how often I hear and see these two words misused, I thought it was time to reprise them. Here for your consideration are founder and flounder. Both are used here as verbs.

FOUNDER means to sink. For instance, if a candidate starts out with seemingly enormous support and then makes a mistake, that support may evaporate. He or she may go from 83% popularity to 27% popularity. You would say the candidate’s campaign founders.

FLOUNDER means to act confused and struggle mentally. Think of a flounder flopping around on the deck of a boat, flopping from side to side. That behavior suggests a candidate floundering, not answering questions clearly and contradicting previous positions.

OK, let the endless presidential campaign continue. Only one year to go.

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I Am So Sick of This!

What is it with many conservative members of the Republican party?  Or should I call it the Republic party?  That would be the equivalent of what they call the Democratic party: “the Democrat party.”  If they hate us, let them think “Ick!” and put the —ic at the end of the word.  Is that so hard?

My guess it’s a way to demean the opposition. I first noticed it coming from Limbaugh many years ago. It has spread widely.  Sometimes in my car I will put on the bloviating blimp just to see what is causing his neck veins to bulge on that particular day, but I can rarely stay tuned for more than a couple of minutes (which always seems to be sufficient time for several “Democrat” excoriations).

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