Archive for the ‘Language in politics’ Category

Briefly: exocentric V + N

September 20, 2022

(Warning: a vulgar term for the primary female sexual anatomy will end up playing a big role in this posting.)

Where this is going: to an alternative name for an American President (#45, aka TFG); and to an alternative name for a classic American novel (by J.D. Salinger) — both names being exocentric V + N compound nouns, the first in English, the second in French. (I’ll call them exoVerNs for short.)

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Octopi Wall Street

December 14, 2020

(I’m trying to catch up on postings from before my hospital time, just the few for which materials were already on my desktop. This is the first.)

From, I think, Ann Burlingham, this Octopi Wall Street t-shirt, based on Ray Troll’s 2011 political cartoon (one of a number he did):


The t-shirt, with the slogans “Less Inc More Ink”, “Bail Out Boats Not Banks”, and “Eat the Rich”

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wingman, winger

September 3, 2020

In a NYT Magazine piece on Grabpussy Jr., an arresting mid-page teaser quote:

I searched my mental banks for relevant senses of winger, working my way through wingman first, eventually discovering that the intended sense was the one I came to last. You really have to have the context: in particular, who is speaking, for what purposes.

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Briefly noted: the terror face emoji

January 3, 2020

Lauren Hall-Lew writes on Facebook:

2020 is here and #WWIII is the new Twitter hashtag.

Crystal Patterson Muneau follows up:

I need an emoji reaction button to indicate how terrified I am.

You could, of course, just press Edvard Munch’s The Scream into service, or one its its many variants, like this Bizarro version:

(#1)

But actual emoji have been designed.

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Quid pro Joe

September 30, 2019

From the Washington Examiner, “[REDACTED] campaign calls Biden ‘Quid Pro Joe’ and says whistleblower is ‘in favor of one of the corrupt 2020 Democrats’” by Mike Brest on 9/29/19:

The [Helmet Grabpussy] campaign flipped the script on allegations of a “quid pro quo” between President [Grabpussy] and Ukraine, instead labeling former Vice President Joe Biden as “Quid Pro Joe” and alleging the whistleblower is politically motivated.

Ah, a political pun, based on what was once a Latin term mostly from the legal and political worlds, but is now a more generally used plain English noun /kwɪdprokwó/ (with a regular plural, /kwɪdprokwóz/.

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Mud, shit, and chocolate

July 30, 2018

Caught on re-run tv yesterday, in the Law & Order S19 E10 episode “Pledge” (from 1/21/09):

Your entire case rests on this girl’s testimony. If her only impetus to cooperate is greed, you’re in trouble. Who dangled money in front of her in the first place?

The cops. They knew she was in debt, so they pressed her pretty hard.

It’s going to look like we bought her testimony. What a mud sandwich this is turning into.

And only a few months before that, in an emotional  9/29/08 speech on the floor of the U.S. Congress by Rep. John Boehner in support of the TARP bill bailing out big banks:

None of us came here to have to vote for this mud sandwich!

(You can watch it here.)

Yes, mud sandwich. A euphemism for shit sandwich.

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Make America grate again

August 18, 2017

Protests against pre-shredded cheese in today’s Bizarro:

(#1)

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

A punning play on the political slogan Make America Great Again.

Note red baseball caps on several of the protesters.

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This is not a President

June 3, 2017

Passed on by Adam Schembri on Facebook, this topical parody of Magritte’s The Betrayal of Images (Ceci n’est pas une pipe):

A clever reversal of Magritte’s image by Annette Müllender.

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Special counsel appointed

May 19, 2017

Informed opinion has been very positive about the appointment of Mueller as special counsel to investigate allegations in the semolina affair. Commenters are generally agreed that Mueller is a respected authority in such matters, with a long public career in the field and experience in both semolina matters and the byzantine world of elbow-cheese casseroles.

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In the West Wing

March 8, 2017

Having fallen into the world of American politics in viewing the documentary I Am the Ambassador (about Rufus Gifford, until recently the US ambassador to Denmark), I went on to doing the whole 7-year run of the tv series The West Wing, which I am urging everyone to watch at least some of — as a canny depiction of American political life (Wikipedia tells us that it “received acclaim from critics, as well as praise from political science professors and former White House staffers”), as a gripping drama with an earnest moral core, and as a show worthy of praise for its snappy dialogue, inspired casting, and first-rate acting.

This posting is about just two of the actors, Mark Feuerstein and Jimmy Smits (both prominent in season 6 of the series, which I’ve just finished watching), solid members of what I’ve called the “acting corps“, the bank of accomplished and reliable actors (short of first-magnitude star rank) that make the stage, the movies, and television hum for our pleasure and enlightenment. I find them both attractive, as men and as actors — in particular, as embodiments of an “acting persona” (a more or less enduring persona that cuts across an actor’s roles).

Through Smits, that exploration will take us to another member of the acting corps, the admirable Marg Helgenberger. (I know, I know, you also want me to write about Allison Janney and Stockard Channing, among others, but there’s only so much I can do in one posting.)

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