Election 2012's Legacy on the English Language

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Geoffrey Nunberg, professor at UC Berkeley's School of Information, language commentator for NPR's Fresh Air and author of Ascent of the A-Word, looks back on what terms, phrases or sayings from the 2012 election season will live on in the popular lexicon.

Comments [12]

Hal from Brooklyn

Martin, only your fellow ideologues find common indignation in your collective misrepresentation of this phrase. LOL

Nov. 20 2012 11:03 AM
BPCLee from Battery Park City

The phrase "99 percent" was used in the 2010 documentary "Inside Job" by Charles Ferguson about the 2008 financial collapse. I believe his film set the stage for the "Occupy Wall Street" movement and gave birth to their mantra "We Are the 99%".

Nov. 20 2012 10:55 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"You didn't build that" will remain for awhile ... because Obama will remind people of his antipathy toward personal achievement in the next 4 years.

Nov. 20 2012 10:54 AM

Probably way too obscene for a classy show like this, but: Santorum.

Nov. 20 2012 10:53 AM
Mo from Bronx

from where the phrase "what not" came from?

Nov. 20 2012 10:50 AM
Frank from NYC

Suddenly prebuttal has become a word... or not?

Great New Yorker cartoon this week of GOP saying it needs "binders full of Latinos" ...

Nov. 20 2012 10:49 AM
Karen from NYC

"It's arithmetic!" -- to criticize fantasy-based economics.

Nov. 20 2012 10:49 AM
Tom from upper west side

I am 63, and my Irish-American grandparents used "marlarkey" all the time - especially to the 10 grandchildren!

Nov. 20 2012 10:48 AM
Karen from NYC

"Legitimate rape" will be a phrase used to condemn and dismiss anti-choice fanatics.

Nov. 20 2012 10:47 AM
Leo from Queens

How about "legitimate rape"? or "the woman's body has a way to shut THAT WHOLE THING down"?

Nov. 20 2012 10:47 AM
Leo from Queens


Nov. 20 2012 10:45 AM
Robert from RBC

Let's hope none of the words from the 2012 election live on in the English Language. I am sorry most of the words/phrases/idioms introduced into the language over the past two decades have survived; guessestimation? locavore? foodie? oh my!

Nov. 20 2012 10:42 AM

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