On Violence to Language

Has everyone seen this by now? The Republican party, famed for its skill at manipulating language to frame issues in a favorable light, came up with the portmanteau “Obamaquester” to describe what they feel to be Obama’s responsibility for the upcoming budget Armageddon.

“Obamaquester” is what polled the highest? I can think of a few better terms while I sit here: “the Obama budget cuts,” “the Obama military drawdown,” whatever. Just think of a phrase that polls negatively and stick “Obama” in front of it.

The problem with Obamaquester is that it’s formed out of words that already mean other things. Obama is a person, and a quest is a thing. Neither of them is intimately tied to the idea of the sequester.

In fact, “Obamaquester” sounds a person who plays ObamaQuest. Maybe the GOP is launching their new MMORPG this week?


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