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Sunday, November 4, 2012

The jargon of american politics....


Guess every country has a jargon of its own, developed to deal with its own political institutions and the situations that arise from them, even if superficially, they are all writing in English- USA, or India, or Britain.

In 2000, the US jargon for a presidential race that was nailbitingly narrow was "too close to call".

Most Indians had never heard the phrase, and even less had even the faintest idea of what it meant; "to call", meant, for us, to call someone on phone!!!

Fascinatingly, as the US heads for another close elections, new phraseology is tumbling out of the US media.

'Minnesota and Nebraska have come into play" : which means that they are now being taken, by one side or other, or both, as swing states, after having been seen as solidly Republican or Democratic all this while.

'Obama and his surrogates have flown to Ohio" : surrogates means those who represent the candidates, and are in  a sense, an extension of the canddiate, such as Michelle Obama or Bill Clinton.

"spin rooms"- where the candidates' political and publicity managers interpret and try to put their candidates in a positive light, especially after a debate

'endorsement"- wherein a newspaper or politician endorses a candidate's views, and asks the electorate to vote for him.

And many, many, more, which are intelligible only to Americans.

Just like, "booth-capturing', 'defection", 'vote-bank", "tent-wallah", etc are unique to Indian's politics!!



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