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Picture of Kalleh
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The Pew Research Center conducted a survey of 1,546 adults (in the U.S.) from April 21-26, measuring their reactions to nine political words and phrases: Link I didn't think the results were all that shocking, but it is an interesting read. Of the nine words, the most negative reactions were to the words "militia" and "socialism." "Civil rights" and "family values" were the most positive words.
 
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Along the same lines, this column also looked at the use of words in politics:
quote:
Politicians learn quickly that "invest" is far preferable to "spend." And "for the children" always touches voters' hearts — and usually their wallets. At the moment "infrastructure" is another feel-good term guaranteed to loosen public purse strings and stir cement. Sometimes attempts to divert attention lead to silly, unacceptable substitutes like "revenue enhancements" for taxes or "enhanced interrogation techniques" instead of torture. But unfortunately, catchy words resonate with focus groups, can fire up a crowd, and fit nicely on a bumper sticker. (Think "single payer" in the health care debate.) Thus bread and circuses often drive public policy.
 
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Those are, of course, all prmarily American political words. They are mostly used over here as well, with obvious exceptions such as "state' rights" or "libertarian". We also have our own buzzwords.

I was rather surprised by the high positive rating given to "family values". Maybe it's just cynical old me, but if someone trots out that phrase I'm automatically wary. In view of past experience, I expect the politician using it to be discovered to be having an affair or similar shortly afterwards.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Yes. The latest in "family values" is the minister, the head of an anti-gay organization, who was discovered on vacation with a male prostitute. The minister claimed he had hired the man because he had undergone surgery and needed someone to carry his luggage -- or maybe it was his package -- I'm not sure.
 
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I was rather surprised by the high positive rating given to "family values".

You can imagine who was responsible for popularizing that phrase. Roll Eyes

arnie, what are some of your buzzwords in politics?
 
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or maybe it was his package

I think it was his junk.
 
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Um ... I was afraid you'd ask that. I can't think of anything new, apart from the Lib Dems' "electoral reform". Tories have been campaigning in the last few weeks in the run-up to the election for "change", which is sufficiently vague to mean anything.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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For some reason, the word Tories reminds me of years ago...such as the Whigs.
 
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Not a loaded word, but I'll repeat here the quote from my blog, my favourite quote of the campaign. In the first televised debate David Cameron, the Conservative Leader, said.

"I was in Plymouth recently, and a 40-year-old black man made the point to me. He said, I came here when I was six, I've served in the Royal Navy for 30 years."

He joined the navy when he was 10? What was he a cabin boy?

I summed up the parties pre-election political positions over at my blog.

Now I'll sum up their political rhetoric.

Nick Clegg: "They represent the old politics".
David Cameron: "I was talking to a man"
Gordon Brown: "I agree with Nick"/"Nick agrees with me".

These phrases seemed to form the basis for most of their arguments. Gordon Brown's "I agree with Nick" has been picked up by so many comedians and satirists that it's practically entered the language. Personally I was most amused by Cameron's "I was talking to a man" attitude, partly because it was a patently phony attempt to appeal to the general public but mostly because it reminded me of this exchange from QI.

Alan Davies: Why is everything I know wrong?
Stephen Fry (?): Because you learned everything you know from a bloke in the pub.

I may be misattributing but the gist is there.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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I'm not sure, but I think it might have been Bill Bailey who made the "bloke in the pub" remark, Bob.


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I think so too, now that you've said it. I queried it myself because it doesn't sound like Stephen Fry.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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quote:
For some reason, the word Tories reminds me of years ago...such as the Whigs.

Inky Fool has a piece about the word tory.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I was surprised and pleased that "progressive" scored so highly after the conservatives have spent so much time trying to make it a synonym for "Communist!"

WM
 
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Very interesting, arnie and proof. I hadn't realized that Tory had originally been such a negative word.
 
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Don't forget they are politicians. To call any politician, of whatever party, a thief and a liar is fairly redundant, anyway.


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Reminds me of my favourite joke.

How do you know when a politician is lying?

His lips are moving.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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