Under the little top:
A news release from Webster’s New World dictionary lists a number of 2004 election terms that the dictionary is "tracking" — presumably, for possible inclusion in the next edition. The list includes:
Free speech zone — Areas to which protesters and demonstrators are confined. Always at a considerable distance from the event being addressed, such as a convention or motorcade, and often fenced and guarded.
Red/blue state — Red states vote Republican, blue states vote Democratic.
Iraqgate — "A reference to being misled into the war on Iraq, this term is coming to mean any lie used to justify an action."
One of the expressions on the list, big tent ("A term used by political parties to imply the diversity and solidarity of their supporters"), is not very new, really. The 1978 edition of Safire’s Political Dictionary lists it, and as an example of usage says that after Gerald Ford’s defeat in the 1976 presidential election, he summoned fellow Republican leaders John Connally, Ronald Reagan and Nelson Rockefeller to a meeting, at which he told them, "The Republican tent is big enough to encompass the four individuals who were here today." The same could not be said in 2004. The liberal Rockefeller Republicans have been chased from the party, along with most of the moderates.
Who let the ‘nauts out?
With football season back, the cry of juggernaut is heard in the land again. "Batesville wasn’t a juggernaut this time, but the Pioneers had just enough offense to beat Star City … "
Now meaning "an overpowering destructive force," juggernaut entered English in the mid-17th century, a variation of the Hindi Jagannath, which was an idol drawn on an enormous cart in India once a year. Devotees were said to throw themselves under the wheels to be crushed.
"City Council member Slim Ornun said the town is ready for resolution.
‘Whatever happens, we’re ready
for it to happen,’ Ornun said. ‘I’m
not wishing the mayor any tremend-ously bad luck, or anything like
that. I just assume the thing would go away.’ "
Assume as possible.