Thursday, September 08, 2005

Refugees in this line, evacuees over there

Paul J.J. Payack runs the Global Language Monitor, a San Diego-based site that analyzes word-usage trends. Using an algorithm to analyze databases of mainstream media, the Internet and the blogosphere, Payack found that one week ago, "refugees" was being used five times more often than "evacuees" ... but by Tuesday night -- after etymological diatribes against "refugee" by such word mavens as Jesse Jackson, George W. (W stands for "What's wrong with nuculer?") Bush and others -- it was down to 60-40 "refugee" versus "evacuee."

Next, FEMA will whine that the word "slow" is too derogatory to all government workers. Instead, they'll demand that we say "FEMA arrived well in advance of the next hurricane."

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