Tag: politics

Nonapology and apology tour have been added to Oxford Dictionaries.

Regretoric: the rise of the nonapology apology and the apology tour

OxfordDictionaries.com is adding the nouns apology tour and nonapology. These additions represent two related steps in the evolution of the noun apology, which first entered English in the sixteenth century, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Its earliest example is a book title: the 1533 Apologie of Syr Thomas More. That was More’s book […]

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Donald Trump speaks at the First in the Nation Leadership Summit in Nashua, NH, on April 18, 2015

Political profanity and crude creativity on the US Election campaign trail

As the snow starts to melt over here on the East Coast of the US following ‘Snowzilla’, thoughts are turning (and in the case of journalists, turned long ago) to the start of the primary season, when votes are cast to choose each party’s presidential nominee. It’s a complicated and sometimes very long process, beginning […]

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All the candidates in the Republican field before a September 2015 debate

The undercard debate: emerging jargon in the 2016 Republican primaries

The vocabulary of American presidential politics is colorful and extensive, full of locutions like veepstakes, Super Tuesday, and purple state. The 2016 election cycle is already introducing new terms to the lexicon, to describe a novel phenomenon that has emerged this year—the doubleheader debate. With more than a dozen major Republican candidates vying to be […]

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scottish referendum

The Scottish independence referendum: one year on

This time last year, the British press (and, indeed, British conversation) was full of talk about the Scottish independence referendum. It took place on 18 September 2014, and was to determine whether or not Scotland should be an independent country – the alternative being remaining part of the United Kingdom. As discussion around the topic […]

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swarm

Words in the news: ‘a swarm of people’

Is the phrase ‘a swarm of people’ automatically pejorative and insulting? Or is it merely a harmless metaphor? That is the issue this blog explores. The many critics of David Cameron’s use of the phrase in a TV interview certainly found it insulting (fuller context is at the end). Labour’s acting leader, Harriet Harman, stated […]

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Obama

Quiz: can you recognize these famous speeches?

Today (4 August) is Barack Obama’s 54th birthday! During his 2008 campaign for presidency, Obama was criticized by Hillary Clinton for his ‘well-versed’ speeches, i.e. that his public addresses were mere rhetoric without any substance. He responded to her claim, arguing that speeches held the power to inspire nations to believe in change: ‘Don’t tell […]

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Declaration_independence

Quiz: how well do you know your Independence Day quotations?

The actor Will Smith was not present at the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July, 1776. At least there are no pictures that show him next to Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin on that historic day. No official pictures anyway. However, there are many similarities between Independence Day – the 1996 film starring […]

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polling station

WordWatch roundup: penny dreadful, psephology, cock-a-hoop, and bafflegab

Penny dreadful, noun: With the debut of the second season of the British-American television show Penny Dreadful on 3 May…

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