Essay: POLITICS AND THE NAME GAME

WHEN I use a word," declared that famed semanticist, Humpty Dumpty, "it means just what I choose it to mean." He mitigated this tyrannical attitude by explaining that when he made a word do a lot of work, he always paid it extra. Spiro Agnew, who also has a highhanded way with words, owes a great deal of overtime pay to the phrase "radical liberal." As he employs the phrase, upon which he has turned his vigorous intervention in the current congressional campaign, radical liberal seems to be an elastic blanket covering a huge...

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