Tag: politics

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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johannesburg SA

WordWatch roundup: xenophobia, hustings, sabbatical, and ludic

This series investigates changes in lookups for words and their meanings across OxfordDictionaries.com. The graphs are based on website data collected over a four-week period, and the accompanying commentary explores how news and other current events have influenced these word trends and sudden peaks in interest. xenophobia, noun Following a recent outbreak of violence against foreigners […]

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tricoteuses

WordWatch roundup: Sassenach, Mrs Grundy, Plaid Cymru, Maundy, and tricoteuse

This series investigates changes in lookups for words and their meanings across OxfordDictionaries.com. The graphs are based on website data collected over a four-week period, and the accompanying commentary explores how news and other current events have influenced these word trends and sudden peaks in interest. Sassenach, noun Following the return on 4 April of […]

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news_large

Word in the news: frit

Recently on the OxfordDictionaries.com homepage you may have noticed that you can now see that day’s top ten most popular words on the site, in various regions around the world. Although it is not always possible to tell why a word is on there, sometimes the reasons behind their appearance can seem obvious. Just after […]

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political insults_edit

How to insult your political opponents like an American

In the run-up to today’s mid-term election, observers of American politics have lamented that the nation’s political landscape is more divided than ever. A Pew Research Center report released this year concluded that “Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines—and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive—than at any point in the last […]

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