1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 116 Articles
Last night, the five Democratic candidates for president squared off in the first of their televised debates, moderated by CNN's Anderson Cooper. Frontrunner Hillary Clinton and her four challengers, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee, stated their cases to primary voters, and their rhetoric was crystallized in the vocabulary items they used. But what were their significant "vocabulary moments"? Continue reading...
For the Slate podcast Lexicon Valley, I explored the peculiar origins of the word boondoggle, which took a strange trip from the world of Boy Scouts to the world of politics 80 years ago. Continue reading...
At the second Republican presidential debate, held last night at the Reagan Presidential Library and aired on CNN, the candidates jockeyed for the attention of primary voters. There are many ways of judging their performances, but what better way than to analyze their choice of words? Continue reading...
On Minnesota Public Radio, our executive editor Ben Zimmer explored the problematic history of the word refugee, now frequently heard in media accounts of the European migration crisis. Continue reading...
Topics: Usage Words Politics
In a rapid-response survey of candidates' vocabulary in the first GOP debate, broadcast last night on Fox News, Vocabulary.com analyzed the transcript to identify each candidate's most relevant vocabulary word. And the data-driven approach yielded some interesting results about the candidates' language use. Continue reading...
Whether you like or loathe it, I bet you've noticed the return of –mentum: a suffix that fills the Internet during election season much as a sulfurous smell fills hell. This suffix is also a terrific reminder of a sad truth: the media will never, ever treat a presidential election as anything more than a sporting event with fewer concussions. Continue reading...
Topics: Usage Words Politics
Are you baffled by the perplexing terminology favored by American politicians and pundits? A new book by Chuck McCutcheon and David Mark is here to help. Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs, and Washington Handshakes is an informative and humorous guide to deciphering contemporary political lingo. Here we present an excerpt from the book's introduction. Continue reading...
1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 116 Articles

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