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November 2, 2010

Naming the Mid-Term Election Results: Just Add Water and Stir

Have you noticed that the majority of names used to describe the possible Republican outcome of today's Mid-Term Elections are metaphors involving wet weather?

From washouts to tsunamis, we took a look at some of the wetter words making recent headlines.

From a purely linguistic perspective, of course.

Wave

  • A wave is a movement by which sea water rises above its normal level and then subsides
  • Wave's first two letters inherently connect it to the concept of water, washing and wading. The letter W even looks like a wave
  • A wave is inherently gentle and friendly (thus its metaphorical use of waving one's hand to say hello)

  • Translation: Democrats walk on water, preserving both majorities in the House and Senate. Republicans wave goodbye to The Pledge to America


Republican Wave.png
Surge
  • Surge is defined as a high rolling swell of water; a large, heavy, or violent wave
  • Surges are more urgent and intense than waves
  • The verb root 'urge' and the low and long back vowel 'u' portend something bigger, something stronger, something high rolling

  • Translation: Drip by drop, Democrats narrowly preserve both majorities in the House and Senate. Republicans send an urgent, but ineffective, message to America

Bad Storm

  • A storm is a violent disturbance of the atmosphere. It's manifested by high winds and often accompanied by heavy falls of rain, hail, or snow, thunder and lightning
  • At sea, a storm is defined by the turbulence of waves
  • The word, storm, like wave, has Teutonic roots, and while a wave swings or vibrates, a storm stirs things up and damages them

  • Translation: Democrats hold on to the Senate majority but their House does not survive the storm damage. Nancy Pelosi is dead in the water

Washout

  • The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines washout as the removal by flood of a portion of a hillside
  • But a washout is also defined as a disappointing failure
  • The implication of a washout is significant action, and destructive action
  • Not surprisingly, the term shares its first syllable with Washington D.C. and its final with the Bailout

  • Translation: Democrats hang on to both the Senate and House majorities, but Harry Reid washes out

Tidal Wave

  • Tidal waves are high water waves caused by the movement of the tide
  • They are erroneously interchanged with the term, Tsunami, which is a series of high speed waves
  • Tidal is a powerful plosive packed word suggesting a profound change

  • Translation: The tide turns with Republicans transforming both the House and Senate into their personal watering holes

Tsunami

  • Tsunamis are wave series that travel at great speed and often with sufficient force to inundate the land. They are caused by underwater disturbances, most commonly by earthquakes
  • Once you learn to skip the T, tsunami (rhymes with origami) is fun to say and rolls off the tongue
  • And if you don't skip the T, its easy to transform the word to 'Teanami'

  • Translation: Every single Tea Party candidate floats to the surface and gains elected office

Maelstrom

  • Built on the Old Norse words for stream and mill, maelstrom combines the destructive notion of water and the powerful grinding action of a mill
  • Mael is also a character out of Ann Rice's Vampire Chronicles
  • And Strom, of course, reminds us of the fabled segregationist Senator and Presidential Candidate from South Carolina
  • The OED defines maelstrom as a powerful whirlpool which sucks in and destroys all vessels within a wide radius

  • Translation: Republicans gain the House, the Senate and a hefty share of gubernatorial offices- standing ready to suck in and grind to pieces all vestiges of the current progressive agenda.


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Posted by Diane Prange at November 2, 2010 3:59 PM
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There was a flood of inquiries about the Naming the Mid-Term Election Results: Just Add Water and Stir blog post. So we decided to ask voters what they thought of this years damp political outlook and terminology. Technorati Tags: target="_blank">Mid-T... [Read More]

Tracked on November 3, 2010 5:01 PM

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