Sunday, October 31, 2010

Buzzword of the Day: "Historic"

I happened to have NPR's news report turned on just now, and it began with the newscaster saying that the Democrats face "historic losses" on Tuesday. Considering how often right-wing pundits and propagandists have been throwing around the word "historic" lately in connection with elections, that little word package grated on my nerves. C'mon, every election can't be historic. (Was the 2006 upset that put Democrats back in control of Congress "historic"? Kerry's defeat in 2004? Bush's theft of the election in 2000?)

And then toward the end of the short broadcast, the newscaster announced the death of longtime Democratic hack Theodore Sorenson, who, she said, helped John Fitzgerald Kennedy craft his "historic" inaugural speech. It was almost a rhyme, and an odd overuse of such a vacuous word in so short a time.