Thursday, November 22, 2007

Catchy Phrasing snares Novak and China*

The citations aren't good (they'd never pass any sort of muster), so take these as you choose, Dear Gentle Reader(s).

Yesterday on "Countdown," one of Keith Olberman's guests referred to the Plame leaker Robert Novak as a "gossip columnist."

This morning on NPR's "Morning Edition," a person commenting about America's use of "Smart Power" (a combination of military might and diplomacy and exporting ideas), used the phrase, "Genocide Olympics" while referring to China's 2012 hosting of the Olympic Games (referencing China's seeming unwillingness to put sufficient pressure on the government of Sudan during the humanitarian crises occurring in Darfur).

Novak has been relegated to the penultimate trash heap of history, but the China Olympics still have some resonance. One has to wonder if the Chinese government would respond to a worldwide use of "Genocide Olympics."

Language is wonderful. Is it powerful enough to change a government's policies?

*Update The NPR speaker is Joseph Nye; podcast might be available here (* don't know how this podcasting works).

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