Word + Word = Words

December 6, 2012

Overcast and quiet this way-early Thursday morning on California’s northern coast and there’s no moisture out there — from all indications the next few days should be rain free, or at least that’s what the weather people report.
In this neck of the redwoods, though, it’s all in what happens next.

Beyond the weather, news-making stuff remains about the same, or worse — the unrest in Syria bitched upward yesterday on reports Bashar Assad has chemical weapons armed and ready; power has no sense in Egypt as more violence erupts in the streets; and today in Washington State, same-sex marriage and pot are now legal.
As if ‘legal‘ was a pronoun?

(Illustration found here).

Words have become meaningless — pronouns, nouns, adjectives, verbs, tittle-tattle — unless, of course these words are used via the human mouth.
Just ask Jan Brewer.

Yesterday, Merriam-Webster posted its top 10 words for 2012, the number one spot was a tie: socialism and capitalism.
Politics was the issue in an election year.
Via the Christian Science Monitor:

“With socialism and capitalism, it’s clear that many people turned to the dictionary to help make sense of the commentary that often surrounds these words,” said John Morse, president and publisher at Merriam-Webster, in a press release.

Making sense of the commentary meant understanding the negative connotations attached to both words, which was often injected into political debates and campaign ads.
Conservatives called President Obama a socialist, attacking wealth redistribution policies such as health-care reform, tax increases for the wealthy, and entitlement programs such as food stamps.
Liberals hit back at Mitt Romney for his experience at his venture capital firm, Bain Capital, which they accused of killing jobs in the US.
Even Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a fellow Republican, called Mr. Romney a “vulture capitalist” during the primary.
Beyond socialism and capitalism, the list included other political words: Democracy ranked No. 5, globalization No. 7, as well as bigot (No. 3) and marriage (No. 4), which were driven by the same-sex marriage debate.
Words indirectly related to politics represent lighter side of election season.
During the vice presidential debate, Joe Biden said to Paul Ryan: “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.”
Defined as “insincere or foolish talk” – malarkey was a “one-week wonder” word, said Sokolowski.
The No. 8-ranked word had the largest spike of lookups in a 24-hour period: 3,000 percent.
This year’s presidential debates inspired three viral memes: Romney “firing” Big Bird, his “binders full of women,” and Obama’s military analogy to horses and bayonets.
Meme – “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture” – was coined in 1976 by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and ranked No. 10.

Rounding out the list: No. 2 touché — “used to acknowledge a hit in fencing or the success or appropriateness of an argument, an accusation, or a witty point” — and No. 6 professionalism — “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.”


Or words slashed together to form bullshit.
Also yesterday, Citigroup, the too-big-to-fail bank, announced 11,000 lay offs.
In the original press release on the event, Derek Thompson at The Atlantic catches words of the purest of pure bullshit:

“Citigroup today announced a series of repositioning actions that will further reduce expenses and improve efficiency across the company while maintaining Citi’s unique capabilities to serve clients, especially in the emerging markets. These actions will result in increased business efficiency, streamlined operations and an optimized consumer footprint across geographies.” [Bold phrases are my emphasis]

Citigroup took $45 billion from taxpayers in the infamous bailout, and, and, The moves comes one month after Citigroup paid out nearly $14 million to two former executives, CEO Vikram Pandit and Chief Operating Officer John Havens, who were ousted for poor management.
What the hey!

And again yesterday, the most-serious US House of Representatives voted to outlaw the word, ‘lunatic,’ from any sort of legislative law verbage.
Via Mediaite:

Now, for something to become the subject of an entirely new law, there must be an unbelievable number of times the word “lunatic” appears on the law books.
Well, if there are, we have yet to see them, because the bill passed today cites a singular example.

The legislation cites one instance in banking regulation that refers to the authority of a bank to act as “committee of estates of lunatics” on guardianship issues.

The sole vote against the measure came from Texas Republican Louie Gohmert, who both decried the idea of taking up this issue, of all things, when the fate of the economy should be the number one priority, and the need to keep using the word “lunatic” in order to hold onto an apt descriptor for “people who want to continue with business as usual in Washington.”


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