It’s been two weeks since the story broke and I still can’t get it out of my head. Most likely because I’ve spent a few years of my life — 30 or so — working with words. They intrigue me.
So here’s my question to you: What do the following words and phrases have in common? (And if you saw the New York Times story, you can’t play.)
polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled, over-confident, secretive, will do anything to win, represents the past, out of touch
My thought was that they’ve been used to describe just about every politician I’ve ever heard of. But apparently I was mistaken. They are “sexist code words.” At least that’s what the HRC Super Volunteers said when they issued a statement warning media to stop using these sexist code words to describe their candidate, HIllary Rodham Clinton. They warned that they’ll be “watching, reading, listening and protesting coded sexism” in the media.
Sexist code words. Really? When my son first told me about the story, I imagined words like bitch, witch, slut, tease, etc. You know, gender-specific stuff. Admittedly those aren’t exactly code words; they’re rather obvious. But the forbidden words are certainly not gender-specific. At least not in my book. Ted Cruz is polarizing. Rand Paul is ambitious, insincere, and disingenuous. Ted Kennedy was entitled and inevitable. Mitt Romney was over-confident, out of touch, and entitled. Jeb Bush is entitled and represents the past. George Bush was calculating, insincere, and willing to do anything to win. Chris Christie is calculating and secretive. Anyway, you get the point.
Poor Hillary just can’t catch a break. (Er, I’ve also read somewhere that I can no longer call her HIllary because it’s disrespectful. Sorry ’bout that, Hill.) The group that issued the Dirty Dozen list, if it actually exists, is not affiliated with the still-unofficial Clinton campaign, so their little foray into linguistics was just another embarrassment for
HIllary Mrs. Clinton. On the other hand, maybe “they” were a Clinton trial balloon that got shot down …
As a follow-up to our discussion, my son called yesterday to ask if, since Mrs. Clinton reportedly has drafted her announcement about running for president and will issue it this weekend, we can now call her “inevitable.”
Yeah, I think so.