Sunday, August 8, 2010

Names as Verbs

I'm not quite ready to take up the word "Breitbarting" since I think "lying" fits the situation but Erin McKean makes a good argument for a new usage.

As she notes, "Breitbart is just the latest political figure to give rise to a negative eponym, following in the footsteps of borked (meaning attacked in the media, from the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Robert H. Bork), quisling (a traitor, from Vidkun Quisling, who headed Norway’s government during the Nazi occupation), and gerrymander (to draw political boundaries for partisan advantage, fusing the name of Elbridge Gerry, a former governor of Massachusetts, with salamander, which is what the district drawn that way supposedly resembled)."

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