Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Time for a Political Rant of Sorts on Words

This may be a meandering one, but I feel like airing my grievances and I can't wait until Festivus.

A friend of mine has taken issue with the term "Obamacare" in use in headlines of various newspapers. I asked him what term he would use and he said, "Obama's Health Care Plan" or similar such verbiage.

His complaint is that by the use of "Obamacare" in the headlines of a news story is akin to editorializing and professing an editorial bias. While I agreed with his assessment on the face of it, the unfortunate thing is that we do live in a world of lingo and abbreviations and I believe the papers are not taking an editorial slant, rather they are using the common or becoming common terminology of the day in their writing. Does this mean it is correct or right? Not necessarily. Newspapers really should be above using slang.

I explained that even 10 years ago, no one said, "I'm going to Google that subject." Now, Google is a commonly used verb even if Webster's doesn't agree. Another example is the terminology of "Watergate". Despite the fact that this one word seems to sum up the entire description of the Nixon White House in his second term, it is really just the name of a hotel. The term "Watergate" shouldn't even be used. Instead, it should be hotel break-in or just break-in.

What makes matters worse is that now the term "fill-in-the-blank-gate" has permeated our society as a term to describe some sort of scandal. We use the terminology all of the time and it really doesn't mean anything. Putting gate on the end of something is ultimately just a bad etymology. So, if someone stole a bunch of gold, would we call the scandal Golden Gate? Or if Bill Gates did something wrong, would we call it Gatesgate? It's all pretty silly if you ask me.

So, back to Obamacare. Yes, we shouldn't call it that, but it's now too late. It is the jargon of the Republicans planning to get elected who strangely enough call themselves the Tea Party and that has been bastardized into the Teabaggers.

Tea Party isn't even a proper term for what they are doing. The Boston Tea Party had to do with taxation without representation, not about higher or lower taxes or overthrowing incumbant parties, which is supposedly what the Tea Party is on about. And representation means (for those who don't know) a voice in the political system, not overthrow (despite the fact that they threw tea into Boston Harbor as a protest).

In other news, I now see handmade stickers popping up all over the place that say "Obama Failed Us". I got so agitated that I wrote "Republicans Have Too" on one of them. I'm still a registered Republican, but in my lifetime, I've seen the Democrats become the traditional Republicans and the traditional Republicans just go off the deep end and have become the party of "Against".

The Againsters would be a better name for the Republicans who seem to just be against whatever's happening in the other party. If Bush implemented any of the things Obama has (and actually he did in some cases before he left office like the first bailout), the Tea Party would think it was the greatest thing in the world, but because it was a (shudder) Democrat who's (more shuddering) also a black man doing this stuff, it's suddenly not cool.

The two parties are all the same and they should just get along for that very reason. Neither party is really willing to end the war or raise taxes on the very wealthy or cut stuff that really needs to be cut. Stuff that actually could improve the economy.

Off of soapbox...for now...

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