Wordplay 2/28/22


Anything that’s a problem for the Democrats becomes a little easier if Ted Cruz is in the opposition.

Gail Collins

the United States cannot be a benign power and a messianic one at the same time

Peter Beinart via Freddie deBoer

Words of the Year

Irredentism: a political and popular movement whose members claim (usually on behalf of their nation), and seek to occupy, territory which they consider "lost" (or "unredeemed"), based on history or legend.

If you didn’t know what this meant, join the club. I only recognized it as a put-down of some sort in foreign policy.

If you don’t know why I might nominate this as word-of-the-year, may God have mercy on your soul.

Runner-up, revanchism: the political manifestation of the will to reverse territorial losses incurred by a country, often following a war or social movement.

Some people seem to think that 25-cent words like that settle a debate.

Janissary: A member of a group of elite, highly loyal supporters. It would be tempting to call the formerly Never-Trump Now-Trump-Sycophant Republicans "janissaries" except that the janissaries were also highly-skilled and tightly-disciplined, whereas the Trumpistas in DC are a pack of lawless jackals, vying for advantage over their fellows and of uncertain loyalty even to Trump.

Lizardman’s Constant

Lizardman’s Constant is an idea proposed by Scott Alexander that each poll always has about 4% weird answers. In one poll, 4% of Americans said that reptilian people do control our world and, in another 4% answered ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Have you ever been decapitated?’

Quite Interesting on Twitter

Dark Humor

Every morning, Ghislaine Maxwell wakes up surprised and relieved to find she didn’t commit suicide the night before.

Nellie Bowles, Common Sense

Background, should you need it, here and here.

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