Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 23 09:35:29 UTC 2010

seems to be catching on...

You might have heard of the flap in Nevada where the Republican US
Senate candidate claimed that bartering could be an alternative to the
health-care reform. Incredulous bloggers immediately wondered if she
meant "bargain". More recently, a party organ suggested that she simply
meant "negotiate", which seems to endorse the "bargain" theory. But the
candidate doubled down on actual bartering, suggesting that chickens and
goats--among other things--can be traded for medical check-up. This
prompted one enterprising comedian to place an ad on craigslist,
offering to trade a chicken for a heart transplant. But aside from
barter/bargain confusion, this brought another linguistic issue or two.

> Later in the afternoon, Ralston expounded on the
> fuster-cluck-cluck-cluck in his daily Flash e-newsletter:
>> I initially believed that when Senate hopeful Sue Lowden made her
>> infamous bartering proposal in Mesquite, what I last week referred to
>> as her macaca moment, that she meant to use the word “bargain.” That
>> is, you should bargain with your doctor if you can, get the best
>> price. That would have been relatively uncontroversial, and if she
>> had corrected herself, the story would have evaporated.
>> Instead, thanks to what is either her stubborn refusal to say she
>> used the wrong word or what amounts to campaign malpractice, the
>> drops have become a tsunami, threatening to drown out any other
>> campaign message. It has been astonishing to watch Lowden defend the
>> remarks on “Nevada Newsmakers” and then watch her campaign send out
>> missives trying to justify what she said. Indeed, Ben Smith of
>> POLITICO indicated he thought the background doc was a joke because
>> her defense is so ludicrous.
>> The analogies here also flood the mind: Remember when Gov. Richard
>> Bryan, a shoo-in for the U.S. Senate in 1988, brushed off a
>> snowballing issue about his use of a “private jet.” He went from 40
>> percentage points ahead in the polls to even and almost lost a U.S.
>> Senate race. And that was a fabricated issue; this one is real.
>> Or how about a simpler one for Team Lowden: When you are in a hole,
>> the cardinal rule is – stop digging.
>> The latest her campaign sent out is a CNN story from a year ago about
>> bartering, headlined: “Can’t afford health care? Barter for it”
>> But even the story works against the campaign that emailed it far and
>> wide because it points out how bartering can’t fill the gap and is
>> rarely used. And now, as she tries to assert herself above the other
>> 11 candidates, Lowden finds herself being ridiculed far and wide. And
>> the whole bartering proposition lends itself so easily to derision,
>> as Jay Leno and now the DSCC discovered.

If you're keeping score:

1. barter/bargain
2. fuster-cluck-cluck-cluck [buck fush]
3. macaca moment
4. campaign malpractice
5. the drops have become a tsunami
6. When you are in a hole, the cardinal rule is – stop digging.
[antedating candidate--how old is this, exactly?]


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list