02 November 2010

Vocabulary In the News : The Washington Times (Front Page from 01 November 2010)

Washington Times 01 Nov 10

Let’s look at some of the vocabulary found in the article titles. If you want to read each article on The Washington Times webpage, click on the each title.

  • ‘Rhetoric heats up in homestretch, Partisans fire up troops for trench warfare’ – We often talk about political rhetoric during electoral campaigns or political debates. Rhetoric is the art of studying and the skill of using language effectively to persuade and convince the listener. It can also be used to describe language that is elaborate, pretentious and insincere. Now that we are in the homestretch, this rhetoric is becoming more intense. This expression is a sports term often used to describe racing. Well, political campaigns are referred to as races and thus such sports terms apply! If in a race you are in the homestretch, you are in the last turn of the racetrack heading towards the finish line.
  • Now that we are getting to the end of the race, the partisans are firing up the troops, i.e. the voters for trench warfare. In other words, they are trying to motivate and inflame with enthusiasm the voters to come out and vote for them. It’s a fight to the finish and it will be a difficult and dirty one, just like trench warfare. World War I is the best example of this type of war!
  • ‘GOP takeover would tighten gridlock on financial relief’ A takeover is the act of taking control, management or responsibility for something, particularly when talking about power in a nation or in a business. The article states that if the Republicans takeover Congress, Obama’s plan for financial relief would face gridlock. This term is used to describe traffic that cannot move on the motorways because of some sort of problem. In political terms, it means a complete lack of progress. With Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, they are expected to block Obama’s political agenda causing gridlock.

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