left & right in politics

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 5 16:59:54 UTC 2008

Hemicycle, not semicircle? That seems to be usually restricted to special
senses of "semicircle" or more transparently "half-cycle". One of the former
seems to be architectural, possibly including the meeting chamber of the
French Legistative Assembly; but my Internet connection is dismally slow
right now and my searches are not coming up.

The "red = conservative, blue = liberal" mapping is very recent, and US only
AFAIK. From the election broadcasts of 2004 or 2000? I think we've discussed
this before, but see above.

m a m

On Jan 5, 2008 11:21 AM, Chris F Waigl <chris at lascribe.net> wrote:

> It's always from the perspective of someone facing the assembly, which
> is seated in a hemicycle. It is the Legislative Assembly of 1791 that
> seems to be most relevant here, when France was still a constitutional
> monarchy and had a king.
> Today's parliaments are still mapped the same way if they use this
> seating arrangements and the left/right terminology. Here are examples
> from today's France, Germany and Switzerland. (Note that the color red
> is associated with the left wing in European political iconography):

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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